April is Workplace Conflict Awareness Month. Conflict among co-workers can be toxic to the environment and culture of an organization, therefore when conflict occurs it is important to deal with the issue openly and honestly. Outside stress can cause workplace conflict, but by fostering an environment that promotes honesty in sharing information, employees will be more likely to discuss issues in their personal lives, such as domestic violence, with their immediate supervisors.
When domestic violence occurs, it does not stop at home. Victims are often followed or harassed at work by their abuser. According to a study conducted by the Family Violence Prevention Fund, 74 percent of employed domestic violence survivors were harassed by their partner while they were at work. It is even common for the person behind the abuse to use workplace resources, such as their company phone line, to pressure their victim. The Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence reported that over 75 percent of domestic violence perpetrators used workplace resources to check up on or threaten their victim.
Domestic violence can also lead to absenteeism and lower productivity in the workplace. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the annual cost of lost productivity due to domestic violence is approximately $727.8 million. A contributing factor to loss of productivity in the workplace is caused by employees arriving late or missing work entirely.
Although over 66 percent of corporate leaders consider domestic violence a major social issue, more than 70 percent of workplaces do not have a formal program or policy that discusses domestic violence, according to the Family Violence Prevention Fund. It is important to educate employees in the workplace so that they can help co-workers, family and friends who are living with domestic violence.
Raise awareness in the workplace by:
1. Educating employees on warning signs of domestic violence.
2. Creating and distribute informational resources on domestic violence to employees.
3. Collaborating with local domestic violence shelters and providing contact information for those seeking help.
4. Developing a workplace domestic violence policy including security measures.
5. Advocating domestic violence awareness.
If you are a business or organization located in Duval or Baker County in Northeast Florida and are interested in educating employees on the dynamics of domestic violence, its impact, and the importance of intervention and prevention, visit Hubbard House’s website to learn about the training opportunities that are offered.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship please call the Hubbard House 24-hour domestic violence hotline at (904) 354-3114 or (800) 500-1119. Hubbard House can help.
Other domestic violence shelters in Northeast Florida include:
Clay County: Quigley House, 904-284-0061 24-hour Hotline
Nassau County: Micah’s Place, 877-228-7388 or 904-225-9979 24-hour Hotline
St. Johns County: Betty Griffin House, 904-824-1555 24-hour Hotline
If one of these shelters does not serve your county please call the Florida Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-500-1119.
ABOUT HUBBARD HOUSE
Founded in 1976, Hubbard House is a certified, comprehensive domestic violence center providing programs and services to more than 5,000 women, children and men annually in Duval and Baker counties. While Hubbard House is most known for its emergency shelter, the agency also provides extensive adult and youth outreach services, school-based education, therapeutic child care, batterers’ intervention programs, court advocacy and volunteer and community education opportunities. Visit http://www.hubbardhouse.org to learn more.
By Kristen Comeaux