Domestic Violence in The Workplace

Domestic violence follows victims from home to work. 96% of domestic violence survivors report problems at work due to domestic violence including lateness, missing work, difficulty performing work, reprimands by supervisors because of interference by abusive partner. As a result, the impact to a company can be substantial. However, the impact of domestic violence also can be reduced or eliminated through specific strategies.

Have you noticed employees who:

  • Come to work with visible physical injuries (such as bruises, cuts, burns, and fractures), which they attempt to hide or blame on their “clumsiness”
  • Suddenly stopped coming to work and quit with no explanation or with a reason that doesn’t make sense to you
  • Were frequently late or absent, or left early with no clear explanation (even though they are generally dependable)
  • Started wearing concealing clothes, even in warm weather
  • Received harassing, excessive, and/or emotionally-intense personal phone calls, texts or emails
  • Demonstrated decreased job performance (such as difficulty concentrating and excessive errors)
  • Displayed signs of depression (for example, crying at work) or anxiety (for example, panic attacks)
  • Received disruptive personal visits at the workplace

It could be that domestic violence is destabilizing your employees’ lives and negatively affecting your company. If you have noticed some of these behaviors, one of your employees may be the victim of domestic violence. As an employer, there are things you can do to help your employees, while you stabilize your workforce.

Things you can do as employer:

  1. Training your employees and managers to identify how to have healthy and equal relationships can help eliminate domestic violence. Link to Trainings.
  2. Sponsor educational campaigns that address the topic of domestic violence.
  3. Display posters and information about domestic violence and how to get help.
  4. Let employees know that it is safe to ask for help without fear of reprisals.
  5. Embrace collective bargaining provisions that support victims of domestic violence (e.g. offer 10 days of paid leave for court appearances, etc.)

If you are being harassed at home and at work, here are some things you can do in your place of employment.

Safety planning in the workplace and at home:

  • Disclose your situation to your employer and/or co-workers to reduce risk and feelings of isolation.
  • Obtain secure parking, talk with security personnel, etc.
  • Screen calls, and remove your name from automated directories.
  • Consider flexible or alternate hours.
  • Relocate to different office or a more secure site.
  • Hide your keys, money, and a packed bag in case of emergency.
  • Collect important papers for yourself and your children.
  • Collect evidence of your partner’s assets.
  • Keep phone numbers handy for Center for Domestic Peace,

Here is a great resource. Workplaces Respond provides resources, training, and technical assistance to employers, survivors, co-workers, and advocates to prevent and respond to domestic violence, sexual harassment & violence, trafficking, and stalking impacting the workplace.

If you would like a workplace training, please email Jackie Palacios, Learning and Training Manager: [email protected]