TAG | Coaching
It was October and the call enter employer had an epiphany: “let’s do something for all the employees to get them engaged in a local charitable cause! I have it, let’s do domestic violence awareness training. After all this IS National Domestic Violence Awareness Month – I read it in the paper!” So awareness training they did. They called a local advocacy group which did a free training for anyone who wanted to show up to the Lunch-n-Learn. The employer sat back, satisfied that they were doing something important and the community would be blanketed in the warm-fuzzy feeling that the neighborhood corporation was ready to help by donated large sums of money to keep the local shelter doors open.
Except that’s not what happened. What happened was that a four of the people who voluntarily attended the training did so because they suspected that the trauma they lived with day in and day out actually had a label, “Domestic Violence” and they were loath to identify themselves as “victims”. But what was happening at home was wrong – they said so in the training. They wanted help. After all this was a company sponsored training for the purpose of helping people, wasn’t it?
So, one by one, they went to Human Resources. And it backfired. Big time. Each of the four people thought they would get help of some sort. It wasn’t until later when they managed to learn that individually they were not alone in this dilemma did they discover they each had the same response from HR. Something akin to a cross between “deer in the headlights” and “bear on a rampage”. HR treated these people with utter lack of concern and blatantly told them they had no idea what to do and it wasn’t up to them to find out. It was, after all “a personal problem”.
Each employee left more bewildered, confused and frightened then when they came in. Because they “cat was out of the bag’ now. Have they jeopardized their jobs? Will everyone know their most embarrassing personal issue? Will their abuser find out they talked and retaliate?
My clients understand the importance of having all managers trained to recognize the signs, even the subtle ones, of abuse – before they do employee training. In addition, they participate in skill practice exercises where we experience talking with an employee that has self-disclosed their circumstances, or ones that management has had to approach due to the recognition of the very signs they’ve learned to identify. The skill practices help managers become comfortable with what would normally be considered an off-limits conversation because managers are typically unsure of what to do and afraid of embarrassing the employee. Here though, we even laugh. Not at the issue, but at ourselves. What could be more fun than making actors of ourselves and stepping out of our usual roles for the benefit of the learning experience? You can even see some scenes from these on my website.
That’s among the benefits of the workshop It Happened at Home- It Cost Us at Work. That’s the clear benefit of a subject matter expert in domestic violence in the workplace. You have the opportunity to learn how to listen and respond with empathy and offer clear guidance and resources, as a manager, without stepping into the role of therapist. That’s how you create a workplace that is Safe, Supportive and Sought-After. Who says it has to be a personal problem?
Dear readers – This blog ran previously and continues to bring positive impact to readers. That makes me glad.
This month of awareness has assisted in bringing together those who work to bring an end to Domestic Violence, as well as move forward legislation to assist victims of domestic violence. As we move forward to October and participate in activities that support in bringing awareness and memorial to this ever present issue, we aid those who are suffering everyday to bring them one step closer to safety, and a healthier life for themselves, and their family. What might be things you can do to stop domestic abuse?
In your place of worship
1. Encourage information about domestic abuse in the congregation’s programs, youth groups, marriage preparation, study groups, etc.
2. Establish a committee to promote awareness of the problem and how the congregation can help.
3. Organize a drive to collect food, toiletries, household goods and other needed items for a local domestic violence service.
In your workplace
4. Display posters or brochures (in break rooms, restrooms, or meeting rooms) to promote awareness of domestic abuse and how to get help.
5. Organize a Brown Bag lunch or other event for co-workers and invite a speaker to talk about solutions to the problem.
6. Ask what policies your employer has developed to keep employees safe from a domestic abuser who threatens the workplace.
In schools and daycare
7. Encourage the editor of the school newspaper to have a special issue about teen dating violence and partner abuse.
8. Write a paper about domestic violence to share with your classmates.
9. Educate teachers and other staff about the connection between child abuse and partner abuse.
In civic organizations, clubs or neighborhoods
10. Invite a speaker to educate organization members about domestic violence.
11. Organize a fundraising event or food/toiletries drive to benefit a domestic violence service agency.
12. Publish information about domestic violence and available resources in the newsletter.
13. “Adopt” a family seeking independence from an abuser, to assist with practical needs.
As a Citizen
14. Ask your local library to stock books on domestic violence and to set up displays to educate the public about the issue.
15. Speak out against domestic abuse: Expressing your view that domestic violence is unacceptable has a powerful effect on changing the norms that support abuse.
16. Write letters to newspaper editors or send commentaries to TV and radio to help raise awareness about domestic violence.
17. Vote for public leaders who take a strong stand against domestic abuse.
18. Call 911 if you see or hear a crime of domestic abuse in progress. Write down license plate numbers, locations, and any other information that may be helpful to law enforcement.
19. Volunteer with a domestic violence service. Organizations need help with office activities, fundraising events, technical and professional services and assistance to clients.
20. Donate used clothing and household goods to a program that gives these vital items to families seeking independence from an abuser.
21. Participate in neighborhood crime watch programs.
Source original for this article: http://www.thepaper247.com/main.asp?SectionID=23&SubSectionID=22&ArticleID=17559&TM=9137.525
bottom line · Brown Bag lunch · business · Coaching · conflict · consulting · costs · crime victim’s rights · depression · domestic abuse · domestic violence in the workplace · domestic violence prevention · employer · lawsuit · leadership development · legal · management · offender · personal safety · relationships · risk · Speak out against domestic abuse · strategic leadership · stress in the workplace · training · victim · violence
Last weekend I was joyfully out taking photos with my Nikon and attached 70-300 “long” lens. If you’re familiar with this camera and lens combination, you’ll know that the total weight is almost 1 ½ pounds. About to drive to a new photo op, I got into my driver’s seat, and lifted the camera off from around my neck by the strap. But it didn’t go. That lug of a contraption swung back toward my chest and as I lifted the strap I chunked myself right under the chin. It snapped my jaw shut and sent my upper teeth right through my bottom lip. Aye yi yi! That hurt!
“Crud!” O.K., that’s not really what I said, but you get the gist. I had no time to waste so I sucked it up (blood included) and continued on my journey. Fortunately, I was headed to an ice rink. Great! I could get ice on my lip. No, not from planting myself face down on the skate surface! I went to concessions and asked for ice in a napkin. Clearly the vendor had seen his share of rink accidents; he pulled out a baggy instead and filled it up. Ahh, relief. I was mortified though. My lip was swelling and I resembled a cowboy with a mouthful of chewing tobacco. To my utter horror, the area below my lip was taking on a deep purple hue. And I had tickets that night to the theater with a four star dinner beforehand.
I readied myself with one liners for each time I had to explain to someone what happened to my lip. I just knew people would goggle and stare. “What happened to YOU?” they’d say. I’d hear it over and over again.
But I didn’t. In the week’s time that it took for the swelling to subside and the bruise to fade, not one person asked how I’d been hurt. No one asked if I was O.K. No one said a thing. Certainly it can’t be because they were worried about embarrassing me more regarding my lack of grace and coordination.
Ah, the irony.
In training, I dialogue with managers and employers about the importance of asking if someone is O.K. The managers and I spend a significant about of time on skill practices and the pros and cons of various dialogues and questions to ask employees. Like does the person need assistance finding resources, would they like help getting out? People who are victims of abuse need to know someone cares and they are achingly waiting for someone to reach out and offer an ear of concerned listening.
I’m really lucky; it was my own klutziness that decorated my face with a fat lip. But what if that wasn’t the case? Go back to my most previous blog Six Steps to Safe Environments to Ask For Help and read up on talking to someone who is a victim of abuse. It can make a word of difference to someone.
As for me, my lip is healed, but my pride still hurts. Maybe I should go back to my little pocket camera.
camera · Coaching · collaboration · consulting · depression · domestic abuse · Domestic Violence · domestic violence in the workplace · employees · Nikon · personal safety · team work · training · violence
When the Human Resources manager called to describe the female employee’s resistance to discussing the abusive husband who kept showing up at the workplace; making his presence in her life achingly obvious with emails, phone calls and stake-outs in the parking lot.
“She won’t talk with me.” said the manager. “She clams up.” They asked me to meet with the woman on their behalf, thinking that a neutral outsider could encourage her to help.
So we sat down, the Human Resource manager, the employee and me. And that’s where I got my big surprise. The manager barked an order at the woman that she “has to” meet with me. The tone of her voice was angry, and insistent as she gave her a directive, “You will talk with Ms. Angelo until she says you can go!” Ouch. Quite frankly that answered a lot of my questions as to why this woman was so reluctant to talk.
When you are a domestic violence victim, discussing the dynamics of your relationship is very, very complex. We have written about that in other blogs. Let’s focus now on how to create safe environments to ask for help for victims of domestic violence.
1. Start with your room environment. Invite the employee to talk with you in a place that’s quiet and not where everyone can see you talking. Have water and tissue boxes available on the table. (Some say you should not hand a tissue to someone crying as it sends a subliminal message that they should stop. Instead ensure they can easily reach tissues on their own).
2. Be an “active listener.” This sends the message that you are genuinely interested and respect what they have to say. Give your full attention and comment on what you think you heard. If you did not understand what was said, ask for clarification. Ask open ended questions that do not convey judgment. For example you can ask, “Could you tell me more about that?”, “What do you mean he has a temper just like his father?” “What happened next?” “Would you like help getting out?” “May I give you a list of resources and phone numbers?”
3. Be positive and have an upbeat tone of voice. No one likes to listen, or open up, to someone who is grumpy; smile. Show enthusiasm and be positive when having conversations with victims or suspected victims. I am not saying that you should make light of their trauma. Just don’t wallow in it either. Empathy not sympathy. Maintain eye contact without staring. Nod occasionally and lean forward slightly.
4. Offer guidance that addresses the person’s problem, behavior, or concern. Do not criticize for wrong or bad behavior; instead develop an action plan to help the victim (or offender) change the situation that’s unsafe and/or affecting their work. Talk about strategies they can use in difficult situations. Discuss hypothetical scenarios such as what he/she can do if they are in an unsafe situation and hopefully avoid getting into dangerous situations. Remember though, this is based on offering resources, like shelter information, hot-line phone numbers and your Employee Assistance Provider (EAP). It is not to suggest you act as their therapist.
5. Maintain and enhance self-esteem and self-respect. People with positive self-esteem are more likely to reach out for help and accept the help that is offered. Where victims are concerned try to remember that the batterer, or offender’s, greatest ally is to minimize and strip their victim of self-worth. Most victims have been told so often that they are unworthy that they’ve come to believe it. You can help replace lost self-esteem.
6. Know your limitations. The reason clients seek me out for domestic violence training, is that it raises Domestic Violence Intelligence. Know that there are times that a subject matter expert can ensure you address the situation correctly and help safeguard your from making a mistake that could violate compliance or land you in hot water. If you are attempting to get your employee to seek help from experts, be the first to set an example and seek help yourself.
active listener · Coaching · depression · domestic abuse · Domestic Violence · domestic violence in the workplace · Domestic Violence Intelligence · domestic violence prevention · Employee Assistance Provider · employees · employer · human resources director · management training · personal safety · Safe · self-esteem · Sought-after · stress in the workplace · Supportive · Therapist · training · violence
Click link to watch this 1 minute video! Announcing TheDVU
Coaching · consulting · Counselors · depression · domestic abuse · Domestic Violence · domestic violence prevention · Social Workers · stress in the workplace · Therapists · training · victim’s rights · violence
Statistics show that:
13% of Americans are likely to have heart disease1
Almost 20% of Americans are likely to have diabetes1
One in eight women or 12.6% will have breast cancer1
One in six men will develop prostate cancer1
As of 2006, the CDC reports that an estimated 36,828people per 100,000 are infected with HIV2
More than 200,000 people — are unaware they’re infected3
If American adults have come to accept these facts, as the vast majority of them have, then why is it still so hard to accept the fact that 85% of women and 15% of men are victims of abuse? Just like the above health statistics we understand there are a number of unreported cases so the numbers should be higher that what you see presented.The same is true for domestic violence.Lastly, when you think of the above noted health statistics you know that until someone’s illness is really in advanced stages you will probably never know someone is ill just by looking at them. The same is undeniably true with domestic abuse.
You don’t know when someone is suffering. You have to have reached a point of trust where the victim is comfortable enough, and feeling safe enough to open up to you. You need to be personally at a point where you understand enough about the dynamics of abuse that you can approach someone you suspect is victimized without jeopardizing their trust and personal safety.
I once had the VP of Human Resources of a very large international organization of 58,000 employees worldwide; boast to me “it doesn’t happen in my company, I never hear about it.” Well, sadly that’s statistically impossible. Even more sad was the fact that this VP didn’t have his ear to the ground enough to even know what was going one in his organization.
Do any of your employees exhibit any of the following?
- Become quiet when he/she is around their partner or ex-partner and feel afraid of making him/her angry?
- Cancel plans at the last minute?
- Not have access to money?
- Have their attire dictated to them?
- Stop seeing friends and family members, becoming more and more isolated?
- Explaining bruises to family, coworker’s or friends?
These are only a few of the possible signs of abuse. No one is immune from domestic violence and there are many available resources. Like the VP of Human Resources I mentioned, you don’t have to see it or hear of it for it to be happening and I’m available to help your organization by visiting:www.hressential.com
Check out other resources too like The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence http://www.ncadv.org/
2Centers for Disease Control
3Kenneth Mayer of Brown University
bottom line · business · Coaching · company · conflict · consulting · costs · domestic abuse · employees · employer · family · lawsuit · legal · management · offender · personal safety · relationships · risk · training · victim · violence
“It Doesn’t Make Sense and Its Costing Us Millions – A Strategic Domestic Abuse Initiative for Human Resource Professionals” designed for employers, CEOs, CFOs and business owners, has been recertified by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) for continuing education credits. The new recertification is for January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2012.
The program, provided by Human Resource Essential, a business that specializes in public speaking, awareness programs and training on domestic violence, is approved for 2.0 Strategic recertification credit hours toward Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR).
“This approval validates the need for employers to recognize the human and financial costs of domestic violence, and how to create an environment which will enable employees to come forward for help,” said Stephanie Angelo, owner of Human Resource Essential. “If you’re responsible for state and federal compliance and your business’ bottom line, this program is for you. Lost workdays and lost productivity are known as the biggest siphons of corporate profitability we have. These siphons usually are created by things that are happening outside the workplace. Small changes have the biggest results, and employers are in the unique position to make those changes; simultaneously they must ensure state and federal compliance.”
Family abuse/violence is a subject that is not easily addressed because there are many people who deny its existence or the magnitude. Many people have trouble facing the possibility of having to deal with the serious effects it has on their employees personally and professionally; and that the organization, in turn, pays the price.
This program, available in live and we based versions, illustrates the costs to the business bottom line. Participants leave with a view of cost affected areas, a violence prevention plan, look at case histories and learn how to proactively achieve non-abuse through strategies to create a legally compliant, healthier, safer workforce.
Human Resource Essential’s work saves US companies $7.9 M in lost workdays alone each year, using a comprehensive and strategic method which yields long-term results.
Clients primarily include insurance companies, financial institutions and retailers.
As a multiple award-winning expert in domestic violence’s effects on the workplace, Stephanie Angelo, SPHR, ensures participants gain practical ideas and skills which immediately inspire them and increase their ability to address this workplace issue. Clients report decreased turnover, reductions in workplace incidents, noticeable changes in affected individuals, and
positive changes in corporate culture.
For more information and to schedule training programs with Human Resource Essential, please call (480) 726-9833 or visit http://www.hressential.com.
When I was a little girl, my older brother sometimes pretended to fly like Superman, jumping from couch to chair with a makeshift cape over his shoulders. I was ten years old the first time I really saw him fly. That was when my mother’s boyfriend launched him from the living room to the dining room – where he crashed to the floor in a heap. My brother wasn’t trying to be a superhero, but he was trying to stop this man from hurting our mother.
The boyfriend came and went over the next six years, finally disappearing when I was sixteen. Each time he left my relief was immense. Each time he came back my disappointment was crushing.
My brother and I used to take long walks at night just to get out of the house. I remember one night crunching through snow in five-degree-below-zero weather trying to figure out how we could become emancipated at the ages of twelve and fourteen. Our options looked pretty grim so we dropped the idea and waited for the years to go by till we could be free.
When you’re a kid living with abuse in the home it’s like living on an earth quake’s fault line. You never know when the ground is going to come out from under you. Nothing is safe or secure. You never know who’s next or what will set it off. You don’t want friends over because something might happen when they’re there. There’s no one to talk to. You hold your breath – all the time. (From my book Battered and Abused, Bringing the Darkness into the Light)
Domestic violence affects every member of the family, including the children. Family violence creates a home environment where children live in constant fear.
Children who witness family violence are affected in ways similar to children who are physically abused. They are often unable to establish nurturing bonds with either parent Children are at greater risk for abuse and neglect if they live in a violent home.
Statistics show that over 3 million children witness violence in their home each year. Those who see and hear violence in the home suffer physically and emotionally.
“Families under stress produce children under stress. If a spouse is being abused and there are children in the home, the children are affected by the abuse.” (Ackerman and Pickering, 1989)
Research shows without question that children will react in different ways. Variables are due to the child’s gender, age, what they witnessed, if there was someone giving them appropriate love and support, and other factors. Still children exposed to family violence are more likely to develop social, emotional, psychological and or behavioral problems than those who aren’t. They experience, lower self-esteem, depression, health issues, growth and development problems. They may avoid going to school, and once there are often too distracted to do well. Interviews with teachers has indicated that they are often spending significant time with children with these issues, to the detriment of the other students.
When employers provide resources, support systems and counseling services to their workforce they do a tremendous service to their employees to show they care. Since often times the workplace is the only possible source of information for an employee who’s every action is monitored by a controlling partner, you can imagine how great it is to be able to find resources for help at the workplace.
Employers who have a qualified Employee Assistance Provider (EAP) in house, or on contract, prove to their employees that they aren’t just blowing smoke in terms of being employee friendly. They’re walking the talk. And it comes back to them tenfold in a loyal workforce. That’s when the employer is the real superhero.
children · Coaching · consulting · domestic abuse · domestic violence in the workplace · domestic violence prevention · employees · employer · leadership development · management · Personal Safety · relationships · strategic leadership · victim
I like to read the newspaper from cover to cover. At least to check out the headlines then choose which articles to read. Yesterday, on the final day of domestic violence Awareness Month, I came across this Letter to the Editor. It’s written by my friend, Connie Phillips, who is the Executive Director of Sojourner Center, the country’s largest domestic violence shelter, which is right here in Phoenix.
I sent her a congratulatory email, and mentioned that I’d also submitted a letter to the Editor a month ago, which has not yet run. If it doesn’t, I may just post it here on my Domestic Violence in the Workplace blog.
Check out what a great letter Connie wrote:
Stevie Award Winners to Be Announced in New York on November 11
Tempe, Arizona – Oct. 13, 2011– Human Resource Essential, LLC was named a Finalist in the Best Entrepreneur – Service Businesses – Up to 100 Employees category in the 8th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business.
The Stevie Awards for Women in Business honor women executives, entrepreneurs, and the companies they run – worldwide. The Stevie Awards have been hailed as the world’s premier business awards.
Nicknamed the Steviesfor the Greek word “crowned,” winners will be announced during a gala event at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York on Friday, November 11. Nominated women executives and entrepreneurs from the U.S.A and several other countries are expected to attend. The presentations will be broadcast live on radio in the U.S.A. by the Business TalkRadio Network.
The happy irony for Stephanie Angelo, Founder & CEO, is that her name also means “the crowned one”.
More than 1,300 entries – a record for the competition – were submitted this year for consideration in 75 categories, including Best Executive, Best Entrepreneur, Women Helping Women, and Communications Campaign of the Year. Human Resource Essential, LLC is a Finalist in the category Best Entrepreneur – Service Businesses – Up to 100 Employees.
The term at a crossroads” typically means that one doesn’t know which way to turn and what to do. When Stephanie hit a crossroads in her career as an independent consultant, she realized it was really an “intersection”; past abuse as a child meeting with professional experience in HR. Stephanie realized Human Resource and Management were misinformed and often unprepared to handle domestic abuse spillover into the workplace.
“I’m pleased we found a subject matter expert who specifically addresses the complex dynamics of DV in the workplace from the management and human resource perspective.” said Bobbie J. Fox, Esq. of SCF Arizona
Finalists were chosen by business professionals worldwide during preliminary judging.
Members of the six final judging committees will select Stevie Award winners from among the Finalists during final judging.
“Women entrepreneurs and executives continue to innovate, excel, and impress,” said Michael Gallagher, president of the Stevie Awards. “Regardless of general economic conditions, the achievements of women-owned and –run organizations around the world remain high, and are reflected in this year’s impressive body of Finalists.”
Details about the Stevie Awards for Women in Business and the list of Finalists in all categories are available at www.stevieawards.com/women.
About Human Resource Essential, LLC
Human Resource Essential, LLC, located in Tempe, Arizona pioneered a process which translates domestic abuse to determine the financial impact on organizations. We specialize in delivering intimate partner violence organizational impact and training, management consulting and program support for ongoing change. Learn more about Human Resource Essential at http://www.hressential.com/
business · Coaching · company · domestic abuse · domestic violence in the workplace · domestic violence prevention · employees · employer · leadership development · management · strategic leadership · training