Police Department, Crime Prevention
Knowing that people tend to spend a good part of their day at work, it's
no surprise that the issue of domestic violence spills over into the workplace.
In 1992, domestic violence in the workplace was the leading cause of deaths
The following are typical signs of employees that might be involved in an
- Frequent bruises or injuries off the job.
- Explanations of injuries that don't make sense.
- Frequent unexpected absences.
- Repeated telephone calls or visits from spouse or
partner during the work day or near the end of the day.
- Unusual anxiety or concern about pleasing or placating
partner, even over small matters.
- Deepening signs of depression, including disheveled
appearance, tiredness and apathy, unplanned weight loss, feelings of inadequacy,
and scattered thinking.
- Quick to anger, even at small frustrations.
- Likely to complain about being undervalued, overlooked,
or "never getting a chance," always blaming others for problems.
- More likely to gripe to co-workers than to try to
solve problems with a supervisor.
- Disruptive or difficult.
- Frequent calls or visits to spouse or partner.
- Secretive calls or absences.
- Frequent put-downs of partner or spouse.
- Repeated statements about partner or children such
as "I'm in charge in my family," or "I'll take care of her/him
when I get home," even if said jokingly.
Explosive behavior can often result from these indicators, frequently happening
at work. The victim may be assaulted or even fatally injured after what most
would consider a "normal" meeting with their spouse or partner.
What can you do? If you work with an individual that exhibits these signs,
alert a supervisor. Let him/her know of your concerns. Some companies have
an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that can step in and assist with either
counseling for both parties or relocating the victim. Ignoring the problem
is far worse than what you may think of as overreacting. Remember, 70% of
people who abuse their partner also abuse children; you contribute to child
abuse if you ignore domestic violence.
As an employer, to prevent domestic violence from becoming a problem at work,
begin at the top of your business ladder and get corporate leadership on board.
Establish employee policies that meet the needs of victims and ensure that
your EAP is responsive. Provide management with tools to respond to victims
and abusers. Educate employees and share materials about domestic violence.
Increase safety at the workplace by coordinating with the police department
or a private security firm. And finally, join in local community efforts to
combat domestic violence by donating your time and resources. (The
Advisory Council of Violence Against Women, 1995).
For additional information,
contact Longmont Ending Violence Initiative (LEVI)
at 303 - 774 - 4534 or visit the LEVI website for local resources.