The Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence is a national nonprofit organization founded by businesses with a mission to address domestic violence as a workplace issue.
Below are some very sobering statistics and facts on the troubling issue of partner violence and its impact on the individual and workforce.
What can you as an employer do and where should you start? At the bottom of this article you will find a link to the “six steps” that the Corporate Alliance suggest for creating a successful domestic violence in the workplace policy. (PDF Format)
So how does domestic violence impact the workplace?
Here’s some insight from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- In February of 2008, the CDC released the most comprehensive US survey regarding intimate partner violence – 23.6% of women and 11.5% of men reported at least one lifetime episode of intimate-partner violence.
- According to the CDC, intimate partner violence victims lose a total of nearly 8.0 million days of paid work a year””the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs””and nearly 5.6 million days of household productivity as a result of the violence.
- The cost of domestic violence to the US economy is more than $8.3 billion. This cost includes medical care, mental health services, and lost productivity (e.g., time away from work).
And some additional insights into productivity losses:
- Researchers from the University of Arkansas found that women who were victims of recent domestic violence had 26 percent more time lost to tardiness and absenteeism than non-victims.
If you think that this does not happen to people who work, think again. The Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence did a national survey of full-time employed adults, and found the following:
- 21% of the full-time employed adults polled identified themselves as victims of domestic violence; 64% percent of them indicated their ability to work was significantly impacted
- 31% of co-workers felt obliged to cover for a co-worker who as a victim; 38% of co-workers were concerned for their own safety
What about abusers? The Maine Department of Labor found that:
- 78% of surveyed perpetrators used workplace resources to express remorse or anger, check up on, pressure, or threaten their victim
- 74% had easy access to their intimate partner’s workplace
- 21% of offenders reported they contacted the victim at the workplace
And why is it that victims don’t just leave?
- In cases of homicide related to domestic violence; 75% of the time it is when the victim is leaving or has left the abuser. This means leaving is potentially VERY dangerous for a victim””a victim who may be your employee.
What about workplace safety?
- Domestic violence coming to the workplace accounts for 24% of workplace violence incidents (BLS, October 2006)
So why should employers care about this? If you haven’t already gotten the sense (and there is more information available in the Facts and Stats section of our website):
- It is an absenteeism issue
- It is a productivity issue
- It is a turnover issue
- It is a presenteeism issue (this means you are present, but not really focused and able to work)
- It is a workplace safety issue
And who in your workplace is potentially impacted by domestic violence coming to work?
- Abusive person
- Family member
So what can an employer do?
There are the “six steps” that we suggest at the Corporate Alliance for creating a successful domestic violence in the workplace policy. Click here to take you to our site from which you many download the PDF.
Kim Wells may be reached at 1-309-664-0667 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.