COST TO CORPORATE AMERICA
Any employee may be affected by domestic violence. More than half (56 percent) of those businesses surveyed were aware of employees who have been affected by domestic violence.
- Thirty-seven percent of women who experienced domestic violence reported that the abuse had an impact on their work in the form of lateness, missed work, keeping a job, or career promotions.
- In one study of BATTERERS, 41 percent had job performance problems and 48 percent had difficulty concentrating on the job as a result of their abusive behaviors.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the annual cost of lost productivity due to domestic violence equals $727.8 million, with more than $7.9 million paid workdays lost each year.
- The national health care costs of domestic violence are high, with direct medical and mental health care services for victims amounting to nearly $4.1 billion.
- In a study on the effects of violence, women who experienced any type of violence or abuse were significantly more likely to report being in "fair or poor" health, and were almost twice as likely to be coping with some form of depression.
- Ninety-four percent of corporate security directors surveyed rank domestic violence as a high security problem with their company.
- At least one million women and 371,000 men are victims of stalking in the U.S. each year. Stalkers often follow the victim to the workplace.
- Employers who fail to protect their employees from violence at work may be liable. Jury awards for inadequate security suits average $1.2 million nationwide and settlements average $600,000.
- In the case of LaRose v. State Mutual Life Assurance Co., Francesia LaRose's family filed a wrongful-death action against her employer when she was murdered by a former boyfriend at the work site. The employer paid a settlement of $850,000 for failing to protect her after being notified of a specific threat.
WHAT MANAGEMENT CAN DO
- Have a brown bag lunch speaker on domestic violence.
- Put up signs in your restrooms indicating where victims can turn for help.
- Allow your HR Professional to attend specific trainings on domestic violence.
- If you suspect an employee of being a victim of domestic violence: Do NOT directly confront her/him. It is important for an individual to self-disclose for her/his own safety and well-being.
- Offer support by listening and assisting. When an individual is ready, she/he will confide.
- Be familiar with community resources.
- It is important to recognize that domestic violence can be a threat to everyone in the organization, and to understand the seriousness of the problem.