Online Program

Domestic violence and the workplace

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 12:48 p.m. - 12:57 p.m.

Erin Dillon, MA, Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge, MA
Alexandra Donovan, Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge, MA
Domestic violence knows no boundaries, and often carries over to the workplace—the one place an abuser can always find his or her victim. With advancements in technology, a victim can be continuously monitored throughout the day. Abusers can harass victims at work in person or through cyberstalking, making threatening phone calls, and sending unwanted emails and texts—all of which can compromise the victim's job performance and attendance, and threaten the safety of the workplace. The good news is that the workplace can be a powerful ally in the life of a victim. It allows a victim to earn money that can lead to financial independence and provides an environment in which the victim has access to resources and time to gain perspective, help and support. In a 2005 federal survey of 7.4 million U.S. businesses and government agencies, nearly one in four large establishments (with more than 1,000 employees) reported at least one incidence of domestic violence, including threats and assaults, in the prior 12 months. Yet, according to the same survey, only 13% of these establishments had a domestic violence policy or program in place. Recognizing the important role of employers in supporting and empowering workers who are domestic violence victims, the Cambridge Public Health Department began addressing this issue. This video is a fast-paced, documentary-style video that explains the issue of domestic violence in the workplace through scenarios to illustrate real-life situations and short interviews with domestic violence advocates, a law enforcement official, and a human resources manager. It is the prelude to a second video that supports employers in leading a policy development process that is appropriate for their workplace and accompanies an implementation guidebook.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Define domestic violence as a public health issue. Discuss how domestic violence impacts the workplace and why the workplace can be a target for an abuser. Explain the role of employers in supporting workers who are domestic violence victims, and why creating a workplace domestic violence policy is essential to employee safety.

Keyword(s): Domestic Violence, Health Communications

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Health Promotion and Marketing Coordinator for the Cambridge Public Health Department. I co-directed, edited, and produced the programming listed.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.