Domestic Violence as a Workplace Issue
Domestic Violence is the leading cause of injury to women. It impacts one out of every four women. Problems of domestic violence frequently spill into the workplace. Batterers commit 13,000 violent acts against their partners in the workplace each year. Batterers also pose serious threats to the safety of their victims' co-workers. Research shows that their husbands or boyfriends at work harassed 74 percent of employed battered women. Every month, domestic violence caused 56 percent of them to be late at least five times, 28 percent to leave early at least five days and 54 percent to be late for work at least five times. As a result many workers face disciplinary action.
Employment is the key to a domestic violence victim's economic self-sufficiency, but the US General Accounting Office found that one-quarter to one-half of domestic violence victims surveyed lost a job due, at least in part, to domestic violence¹.
Cornell-ILR is also a founding member of the Safe@Work Coalition, which launched the Small Business Initiative in 2004. The Small Business Initiative poster and brochure are geared to educate small business owners and to create awareness around the issue of domestic violence in the workplace. The Safe@Work Coalition has partnered with various community based organizations, such as Safe Horizon, Legal Momentum, and CONNECT to provide training to corporations as well as unions. We have piloted a joint labor and management training program that addresses the issue of domestic violence being a workplace issue as opposed to a "private matter."
Men and Women as Allies
We have also piloted the Men and Women As Allies project in which the training focuses on men taking a leadership role with other men in stopping domestic violence, bullying and workplace violence, issues which share power and control as core concepts.
Please contact us for free educational materials targeting unions, small business owners and employers.
[¹] Excerpt from AFL-CIO Executive Council Action in support of the passage of the Victims Economic Safety and Security Act (VESSA) of 2001.