Wednesday

Causes Of Domestic Violence And Its Impact In The Workplace

There are many causes of domestic violence, and situations range across all socioeconomic levels and backgrounds. It may seem that an abused woman’s place of work may be a relief or an escape for them; unfortunately, abusers can further victimize their partner, even while they are at work. Victims are vulnerable because their abusers know where and when they go to work, as well as their phone number and e-mail address. Domestic violence offenders have been known to visit their partner’s place of business in an attempt to harm or harass them. Victims cannot escape, because their jobs are necessary to their financial survival and their only hope for independence.

Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, or psychological battering; all of which are devastating. Many times one suffers from more than one of these types of abuse from their partners. The causes of domestic violence have been studied, and typically, abuse escalates and intensifies over time. It has been found that 74% of women who are abused in the home experience continued abuse at their place of work. Abusers can use workplace property to stalk and threaten their victims. Not only is this a dangerous situation for the victim, but it creates a dangerous environment for co-workers with a violent individual wanting to do harm in their midst.

There are things that employers can and should do to help. They can have policies in place to help protect victims from abuse, and have specific guidelines allowing co-workers to recognize the signs of abuse to let them know how to help. If resources are made available, someone who may be hesitant to ask for help will know what to do. There are outside help and support groups, and employee assistance programs can be initiated. A domestic violence policy should be a part of an employer’s guidelines to encourage open communication, and to guide supervisors for proper procedures when there is an employee recognized as a victim.

Practical strategies can be implemented to protect a victim in the workplace including having a secure work environment, offering schedule flexibility to a victim, or changing their work location. An employer can also be supportive by providing escorts or having a ‘buddy system’ for accompanying individuals to their cars or transportation home. Security personnel or receptionists can be provided with photographs of the abuser to allow screening and protection for the victim. Telephone and e-mail screening, or the changing of phone numbers or e-mail addresses can also help avoid harassment.

The emotional support from an employer is a critical element for a victim because they know that they can get help. In addition, the practical policies at a place of business can look after a victim daily, allowing them every possible chance to maintain their job and be safe while they are at work. The causes of domestic violence may not be prevented, but by providing a safe and accommodating environment for an employee, an employer offers a productive and safe work situation.

Grace Enderlein is a freelance writer and editor.“Causes of Domestic Violence and its Impact in the Workplace” notes the continued abuse for domestic abuse victims in their place of business, and what employers can do to help.We also provide help against sex trafficking of women and girls and strives for the prevention and awareness of the causes of domestic violence with their programs.

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