There really weren't any resources for my mother in 1972. She volunteered and then worked as a secretary for the local school district where I grew up, and every time my birth father beat her, there was full clothing to cover the bruises, avoiding others stares and conversation, absenteeism when it was really bad, and more.
There were no domestic violence or workplace violence programs, no employee assistance programs offering counseling or shelter referrals, no assessment and action plans from human resources.
Don't ask, don't tell. The fear and shame that comes with abuse and intimate partner violence is overwhelming enough (intimate partner violence another name for domestic violence) - you don't want your employer to know for fear of losing your job. Employers don't want to know for fear of potential violence in the workplace.
For my mother and countless others it was faith and prayer and finally the personal strength to get out of the violence.
It still is, although today there are thankfully so many more resources available and more and more companies have workplace violence and/or intimate partner violence programs and/or EAPs.
HR can and should take the lead in providing these programs.
But consider these:
Only 4%. Seems like one helluva short trip from 1972.
And consider these EAP obstacles:
But even considering there's much work to be done, human resources, security professionals, EAPs and workplace violence non-profits have all made huge strides in working together to address intimate partner violence and workplace violence.
One organization in particular - the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence - is the only national organization of its kind founded by business leaders and focused on the workplace. Check out some the companies that are members. I came in contact with this organization earlier this year and was fortunate enough to participate in a few of their S2 - Safer, Smarter Workplace webinars. I was also fortunate enough to interview its Executive Director, Kim Wells (that'll be the next HR Market Share podcast after Thanksgiving).
Amazing employer resources come from the CAEPV. Download Six Steps to Creating a Successful Workplace Program here. Also, great list of dos and don'ts here.
EAPs play a critical role as well. One of our clients - Corporate Counseling Associates - recently released a white paper titled Healthy Organizations Mitigate the Risk of Violence that includes several ways to reduce the threat of violence in the workplace:
We have come a long way from 1972. With all the organizations like CAEPV, CCA and many other EAPs, HR weaves the safety net for victims of intimate partner violence in the workplace.
More on this to come. We're organizing a roundtable virtual discussion on workplace violence for early in the new year.
Post by Kevin W. Grossman (join me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn - and now joinHRmarketer on Twitter!)
Labels: employee assistance programs, human resources, workplace violence