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10/29/2007 12:00:00 AM
Domestic Violence In The Workplace

Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence doesn't stay at home.  It goes to school.  It goes to the grocery store.  It goes to work.

Domestic violence is a workplace issue.  It affects the workplace in terms of bottom-line economics, increased medical expenses, absenteeism, increased risk of violence at work, productivity, and employee safety and well-being. 

Believing that workplaces are ideally poised to make a difference in the lives of victims of domestic violence, the Attorney General's Office is participating in a Corporate Citizenship Initiative sponsored by the Family Violence Prevention Fund and other major sponsors.
The Team: The Plan
In cooperation with the Fund,  LADOJ has recruited a leadership team consisting of employers, battered women advocates, attorneys and others to assist with the implementation of the project.  The team has developed a statewide action plan to reach employers and encourage new and existing corporate responses to domestic violence in Louisiana. 

The team has developed model domestic violence in the workplace policies and procedures for distribution to area employers.  The action plan will be designed to:
  • raise awareness and understanding of domestic violence;
  • increase opportunities for abused and abusive employees to access resources;
  • increase employee's and managers' knowledge about how best to support abused employees in the workplace;
  • educate employers about best workplace responses to domestic abuse;
  • and motivate employees, managers and business leaders to get involved and become part of the solution at work and in the community.
It's a Business Issue
Domestic violence is an important business issue that cannot be ignored.  The workplace is where many people facing domestic violence spend at least eight hours a day.  It's an ideal place for them to get help and support. 
  • Between 30,000 and 40,000 incidents of on-the-job violence every year involve cases in which victims know their attackers intimately.  (Bureau of Justice Statistics at the US Department of Justice).
  • Domestic violence costs employers as much as $5 billion a year in lost days of work and reduced productivity. ( Bureau of National Affairs).
  • 71% of human resources and security personnel surveyed had an incident of domestic violence occurring on company property. (Issac, Nancy E., Sc. D., Corporate Sector Response to Domestic Violence, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University School of Public Health, 997)
  • 94% of corporate security directors rank domestic violence as a high security problem at their company. (Solomon, Charlene Marmer, "Talking Frankly about Domestic Violence," Personnel Journal, April 1995)
  • Guns and domestic violence combine to make a lethal combination, injuring and killing women every day. A gun is the most commonly used weapon in domestic homicide. In 1998, more than four times as many women were murdered with a gun by their husbands or intimate partners than were killed by strangers' guns, knives or other weapons combined. (Violence Policy Center; When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 1998 Homicide Data: Females Murdered by Males in Single Victim/Single Offender Incidents; 2000).
  • Nearly one-third of all women murdered in the United States in 1998 were killed by a current or former intimate partner. Guns were used in almost two-thirds of these domestic homicides. (U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics; Homicide Trends in the U.S. ,Intimate Partner Homicide; 2001)
  • In 1998, 808 women were shot and killed by their husbands or intimate acquaintances. (U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics; Homicide Trends in the U.S., Intimate Partner Homicide; 2001)
  • The presence of a gun dramatically increases the chance that a domestic violence incident will end in murder. One study found that, in Atlanta, family and intimate assault involving guns were 12 times more likely to result in death than family and intimate assaults not involving guns. (L. Saltzman, et.al; Weapon Involvement and Injury Outcomes in Family and Intimate Assaults; 1992)
  • In 1998, for every time a woman used a handgun to kill an intimate partner in self-defense, 83 women were murdered by an intimate partner with a handgun. (Violence Policy Center; When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 1998 Homicide Data: Females Murdered by Males in Single Victim/Single Offender Incidents; 2000)
  • Domestic violence misdemeanor convictions and restraining orders were the second most common reason for denials of handgun purchase applications. (U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics; A National Estimate: Presale Handgun Checks, the Brady Interim Period, 1994-98; 1999)
It is crucial that domestic abuse be seen as a serious, recognizable, and preventable problem, like thousands of other workplace health and safety issues that affect a business bottom line.
Model Policy on Domestic Violence in the Workplace
The Family Violence Prevention Fund National Workplace Resource Center on Domestic Violence in cooperation with the Office for Victims of Crime, the Advisory Committee of the National Workplace Resource Center on Domestic Violence and many others has developed a model policy that may be adapted as a unified domestic violence policy or its component parts many be integrated into already existing related policies and/or guidelines.  Currently, the Attorney General's Domestic Violence in the Workplace Taskforce is using this policy to develop model policies for Louisiana employers. If you would like to become a part of this effort, contact the Drug Policy Section.
Resources
To find out where the nearest shelter or domestic violence program is near you or your company, please contact the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence at 225-752-1296.  If you are in a dangerous situation and need resources or someone to talk to call the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence 24 hour toll-free hotline at 1-888-411-1333.  If you need immediate help, dial 911.


     

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