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8.28.2014

Addressing Domestic Violence in the Workplace

While domestic violence is often considered a dark yet private matter, the truth is that it has the potential to become a serious workplace issue. In fact, the Partnership for Prevention reports that 75 percent of domestic violence victims face harassment from their partners while at work, and a recent Harvard study found that 71 percent of HR and security personnel report that an incident of domestic violence has occurred on company property.

Many employers are beginning to implement policies to help address this serious issue and protect their employees. If your employer does not have a policy in place, urge them to establish a program to assist those impacted by domestic violence.

Common signs that someone may be a victim of domestic abuse include:

  • Sudden changes in mood or behavior, including withdrawing from social situations
  • More frequent sick days
  • Physical signs that could be caused by abuse
  • Visibly upset by calls or texts

If you think a coworker may be a victim of domestic violence, talk to them without being confrontational, offering support if they need it and information to contact someone who can help.

And if you are a victim, talk with your manager, human resources or the security department to discuss steps that can be taken to protect you. If your workplace does not have a policy or available resource in place, contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

On September 4, 2014, Bert J. Alicea, Vice President, EAP+Work/Life Services for Health Advocate, will be presenting a seminar on domestic violence and workplace safety at the 2nd Annual Men of Courage Breakfast in Orlando, Florida, hosted by Harbor House of Central Florida. He will focus on why it’s important to address this issue and how employers can put a policy in place to protect their employees.

If you are an HR professional who is interested in registering for the Men of Courage event, more information is available here. This program has been pre-approved for CE credits from the HR Certification Institute and will provide free CEUs required for SHRM.

For Health Advocate Members

If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the EAP+Work/Life program, call your Work/Life specialist to learn more about this issue and available resources if you or someone you know may be a victim of domestic violence.

Other Helpful Resources

To learn more, please visit any of the websites below that provide additional information about domestic violence in the workplace: