By Sandra Molinari
What can employers/managers do about it?
Employers have the power to create supportive and productive workplaces by putting in place practices and policies that respond to domestic violence, including:
- Adopting a protocol and implementing leave, benefit, and referral policies that address domestic violence in the workplace.
- Offering appropriate training for Human Resources staff, managers and supervisors on domestic violence and how to respond to victims and well as perpetrators.
- *Educating employees through workshops, newsletters, informal brown bag lunches, etc.
- Creating a supportive work environment where one feels safe disclosing abuse. Special care should be taken to send the message that victims are never responsible for the abuse they suffer.
- Informing staff who may be suffering or perpetrating domestic violence about community resources available to them.
- Taking the proper security measures to ensure the safety of all employees, especially the victims. It’s a good idea to work with victims to put in place individual safety plans.
- Holding perpetrators in the workplace accountable for their actions.
*Sandra Molinari wrote a brown bag training on this topic, called a “Brown Bagger” for Employee Assistance Report (see www.impact-publications.com) See also the Online Therapy Institute link provided in an earlier post.
Talking about domestic violence is neither easy, nor comfortable. However, playing the ostrich with one’s head in the sand will ultimately hurt businesses and organizations. Previous posts included useful resources for concerned employers to step up and do the right thing. It’s also a good idea to seek out the expertise of domestic violence advocates in one’s community for additional guidance, support, and training. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so spread the word!