How Does This Impact Your Business?
The effects of domestic violence are felt by a victim's family, friends, community and even her workplace. 1 in 4 Women are victims of domestic violence and 2 in 5 women in Texas are victims of sexual assault (1). Taking into consideration the high number of people in our community impacted by sexual and domestic violence it is no surprise that these type of traumas and violence would have an impact on careers and on our business community as a whole.
Because of the historical stigma surrounding domestic violence, many employers are uncertain of their role in what has previously been viewed as a private family matter. Denton County Friends of the Family was established 37 years ago as a grassroots effort. Prior to that, there was no place for victims of violence in our community to get help like there is today. Having resources available like those that our agency provides help us to break the stigma of abuse being a private family matter and allows victims to get help.
One of the ways that we work to break through the stigma at Friends of the Family is through our prevention and education programs. We will tell you more about these later, first let's read a little more about the economic impact of violence in the business community.
"Sixty-four percent (64%) of victims of domestic violence indicated that their ability to work was affected by the violence. Among key causes for their decline in productivity, victims noted "distraction" (57%); "fear of discovery" (45%); "harassment by intimate partner at work (either by phone or in person)" (40%); fear of intimate partner's unexpected visits" (34%); "inability to complete assignments on time" (24%); and "job loss" (21%)(2).
The impact of abuse feeds over into the work place in numerous ways and cannot be overlooked. As many as 75% of domestic violence victims face harassment from intimate partners while they are at work(3). This impacts the victims personally, the safety of co-workers and has an economic impact on the business itself.
"Exerting control over victim’s employment is a form of harassment used by batterers to intimidate their partners. Although exact tactics are somewhat varied, they can be grouped into two categories: work disruption and work–related stalking. Work disruption is anything that prevents the victim from getting to work on time or at all, and typically takes place at home or outside the workplace. One national study indicates that abusers typically disrupt by depriving the victim of sleep, refusing to assist with child care, physically injuring the victim before work, turning off the alarm clock, or creating an embarrassing situation at the victim’s work. Work–related stalking includes following a person, coming to the victim’s workplace unannounced, looking into the window of the workplace, waiting for the victim at the end of the workday, as well as telephone calls and emails to the victim. It’s important to consider the workplace as a constant factor in the victim’s life. Although victims may change their residence, their work location and work schedule often remain the same (Swanberg, Logan, & Macke, 2006)."
Toni Johnson Simpson, our Executive Director explains that "the lack of understanding businesses have about domestic violence can have serious consequences for victims and their families."
The effects of domestic violence can have direct monetary impacts on businesses, with $8.3 billion annually in lost productivity and higher medical bills according to Forbes magazine. Luckily, there are some businesses who recognize this issue and have taken steps to correct it. Companies like Verizon, Allstate, Prudential, Avon, Mary Kay, Macy’s and Home Depot have already taken significant steps forward by initiating domestic violence policy programs and collaborating with local domestic violence and sexual assault agencies. Our team of local experts at Denton County Friends of the Family are right here in Denton County we are ready to help your business do the same!
Our Community Education program offers professional training and presentations for managers and employees on effective domestic violence prevention programs, as well as how to recognize, report, and respond accordingly in the workplace. We can provide educational resource materials for use in employee handbooks, resource materials, and orientations. If you would like to schedule a training or receive more information about our programs let us know!
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About Denton County Friends of the Family
We provide compassionate, comprehensive services to those impacted by rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, while partnering with our community to promote safety, healing, prevention, and justice. If you or anyone you know is a victim of violence and needs help our 24 hour crisis line is always available or you can call our Outreach Office and schedule a time to come in.
24-Hour crisis line: 940-382-7273 or 800-572-4031
Outreach Office: 940-387-5131
Resources and References:
(1, Texas Council on Family Violence, 2015)
(2, Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, 2005)
(3, Family Violence Prevention Fund, 1998)