Domestic violence comes to the workplace every day


The pervasiveness and severity of domestic violence impacting the workplace demands the attention of employers, managers, human resources and security staff, experts agreed.

“Domestic violence and sexual assault walk in the doors of each and every workplace every day here in the United States,” said Kim Wells, executive director of the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, a national nonprofit organization based in Bloomington, Ill.

“Domestic violence robs our employees of their dignity and their health, and these issues hide in darkness until we bring them into the light,” said Wells, who is working with the NFL to provide guidance on domestic violence education and conduct a policy review.

One in every four women and one in 10 men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Department of Labor reports that victims of domestic violence lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the U.S., resulting in a $1.8 billion loss in productivity for employers. The CDC also reported that an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year and that 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women.

Wells’ organization found that 21 percent of full-time employed adults said they were victims of domestic violence and 74 percent of that group said they’ve been harassed at work. Yet 65 percent of companies don’t have a formal workplace domestic violence prevention policy, according to research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Only 20 percent offer training on domestic violence, the 2013 survey found. The SHRM survey also revealed that 16 percent of organizations have had a domestic violence incident in the past five years, 19 percent had an issue in the past year, and 22 percent did not know.

“Ignorance of the issue is no longer an excuse for employers”. “We really have to work on the workplace culture around this issue, so employees will not be afraid or embarrassed to tell HR about domestic violence concerns, and are provided the flexibility to deal with the issue.”

For more information or needing a training on DV in the workplace call Project Celebration, Inc. @ 318-256-6242 or 318-349-8938. Ask for Luci Collins and she will help you. DV hotline: 1-888-411-1333;Shreveport office: 318-221-8003