TAG | domestic violence prevention
By guest contributor Erika Evans
President Obama announced Friday that he will sign the expansion of the Violence Against Women’s act to include lesbians, gays, transgender people, Native Americans and immigrants after Congress voted 286 to 138 in its favor. Vice President Biden noted that there has been a 64 percent drop since he first wrote and pushed the bill in 1994.
Even if there is evidence that there has been a decrease in domestic violence there will never be a time where we should stop addressing it. The Center for Disease Control did a report in 2011 that states that 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States.
The Violence Against Women act website states that there has been an 11 percent increase in the reporting of domestic violence over the past 10 years. This is proof that addressing the issue has made progress. Also, we have only just begun to acknowledge domestic violence and intimate partner abuse in the work place and need to push forward with doing so to ensure the safety of employees and their right to work in a protected environment.
The only way we can continue to make progress is to keep laws, prevention programs, employment policies and education in place and to address domestic violence in society past, present and future.
By guest contributor Erika Evans
At some point in our lives we all have known at least one person who has been a victim of domestic violence or intimate partner abuse. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates that 1.5 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. On March 1, 2013 President Obama announced that he will be signing the expansion of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Vice President Biden stated that since the first law passed 18 years ago there has been a 64 percent reduction in domestic violence.
Is this a true statement? I decided to do the research myself to find out. I investigated information from domestic violence organizations such as the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, National Resource Center for Domestic Violence and the National Network to End Domestic Violence in which none of these organizations provided information or statistics that could back up Biden’s claim. I then went straight to the source and researched the Violence Against Women’s website and though I could not find evidence that there has been a reduction in domestic violence I did find statistics that state reports of domestic violence have gone up 11 percent in the past 10 years due to the Violence Against Women’s Act. In conclusion, I was unable to back up Vice President Biden’s claim but I was able to see that progress has been made and any type of progress is progress.
By guest writer R. Dania, age 16
As a high school student, especially as a teenage girl, I have seen the full range of relationships. I don’t know much about teen violence statistics, but I’ve seen couples who have been happily together for more than two years, and couples who haven’t worked out as well. I myself have been through a few relationships. All, of course, different. Last year it was a boy two years older who would get upset if I couldn’t talk on the phone right when he wanted to, or for as long as he wanted to. He came to a dance show I was performing in and during intermission, I received a text message saying simply, “This isn’t what I expected, I’m leaving.” To most people, it would seem melodramatic to call this an abusive relationship but as we know, with it being Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, that’s really mental and emotional teen dating abuse.
But let’s not forget that there’s always the good that comes out of dating, the things that make all the high school drama worth it. With the guys that will be genuine to their girls and give them all the respect they deserve, but also knowing that a relationship is a two-way street. Both parties must treat each other well. www.Girlsheath.gov states that in order to have a healthy relationship:
- You feel good about yourself when you are with that person.
- You think that both people work hard to treat the other person well.
- You feel safe around the other person.
- You like being with the other person.
- You feel that you can trust him or her with your secrets.
So as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month comes to a close, remember these tips, and I encourage everyone to have conversations with your mothers, sisters, and friends regarding any issues you may have or advice you need.
It doesn’t matter where you work or what you do, you probably deal with distractions on a daily basis. And these distractions are costly: A 2007 study by Basex estimated that distractions cost U.S. businesses $588 billion per year, and this high cost is likely repeated in organizations around the world.
What’s more (and depending on the complexity of our work), regaining concentration after a distraction can take quite a few minutes. If we’re distracted 10 times a day, multiply the time lost by 10, and it’s easy to see why we sometimes don’t get much quality work done.
Aside from the actual time lost to the interruptions, there is additional recovery time which negatively impacts productivity. Once interrupted, it takes 20-25 minutes to regain the level of focus we had attained prior to the disruption. In addition, close to 50% of the time, we never even get back to our original task. So a 5 minute interruption really costs you 30 minutes of time off task….and a strong possibility you’ll never get it done at all. A landmark study by Basex titled “The Cost of Not Paying Attention,” calculated that workplace interruptions cost the U.S. economy $588 billion a year. If the matter can wait until a more appropriate time, let it. http://juliemorgenstern.com/blog/?pID=7
Social networking facts:
· LinkedIn launched on May 5, 2003
· Myspace was launched in August 2003
· Facebook is a social networking service launched in February 2004
· Twitter was created in March 2006
Employees need to constantly re-connect when having to deal with:
Having to attend to issues (i.e. calls to the school, to the attorney etc.)
They may completely lose a thought which can cause a missed deadline, missed assignment, missed meeting and any number of
On average, we experience one interruption every 8 minutes or approximately 6-7 per hour. In
an 8-hour day, that totals around 50-60 interruptions in the day. The average interruption takes
approximately 5 minutes. If you are receiving 50 interruptions in the day and each takes 5
minutes, that totals 250 minutes, or just over 4 hours out of 8, or about 50% of the workday. © 2002 CubeSmart, Inc. http://www.cubedoor.com
Think of this in terms of your workplace. If you implement an ongoing program that specifically addresses domestic violence and relationship abuse, you will be the hero of the organization that saves 6 digits from the bottom line. Think what that will do for your organization, you and the morale of your workforce. Think of the potential litigation you may avoid. Your organization has everything to gain in terms of:
· Reducing turnover
· Increasing productivity
· Reducing time spent on employee issues
· Mitigating negligent retention/negligent hiring
· Improving corporate image and reputation
· Increasing safety of employees
· Strengthening legal defense & reduce legal fees
· Increasing EAP utilization
We are here to help you do just that. All it takes is one call to (480) 726-9833 to get started.
Talk to you soon!
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
By guest blogger Erika Evans for Human Resource Essential
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Teen dating violence is too common and statistics show that it is as common as family violence and domestic violence. One out of 3 teenage girls are victims of verbal, physical or sexual abuse by their partner. These numbers are much higher than any other type of teen violence. It is important for parents and educators to know the signs and to talk openly about it. There is a myth that “dating” cannot lead to violence but knowing that there are people to confide in opens up the opportunity for girls to reach out. There are several different resources such as loveisrespect.org where girls can take an interactive quiz about their relationship and learn different steps to protect themselves and get help.
The effects of teen dating violence are both traumatic and damaging. It could be loss of interest in academics, isolation, increased use of substances, pregnancy and/ or sexual assault. The long term effects could be low self-esteem, eating disorder, higher risk for suicide or a future of domestic violence. In most cases the relationship seems great at first and love may blind the warning signs. As time goes on it changes into power and control, jealousy and anger. Verbal abuse and emotional abuse are threats, bulling, isolating and stalking. Physical abuse is the intention to physically harm someone or to strike them and sexual abuse is any act that impacts the person’s ability to control their sexual activity.
I spoke with A.S, a 17 year old female that was in a relationship with her boyfriend for almost 2 years. She told me that her boyfriend started their relationship by giving her gifts and always putting her up on a pedestal. Within the first few weeks he wanted to spend all of his time with her and she said that it made her feel good. I asked if she would spend time apart from him. She said there were times when she would try to see her girlfriends but he would grow angry and say cruel things to her. She said that one day she was so scared to see him because she was late to meet him that she showed up crying and he said that she looks ugly when she cries and left her stranded.
I asked A.S. if they had an intimate relationship. She told me that she lost her virginity to him because he would tell her that if she really loved him she would have sex with him and that he would break up with her if she didn’t. She says that she regrets doing it now because she feels disgusting and dirty. I asked her if she could see when the abuse was starting to escalate. She said that he had gone from name calling to screaming at her to throwing and punching stuff but he never physically harmed her. I asked her when they broke up and she told me that they were playing kickball one day with school mates and she was talking to the first baseman when she was on first base. She said that he boyfriend became so angry that he and his friends beat the boy up and he refused to talk to her for days.
I asked her if she had ever spoken to anyone about what was going on. She told me that she finally had talked to her mother about it after the kickball incident. She said that her mother was very supportive but also disappointed that she didn’t come to her for help sooner. She said if it wasn’t for her mother’s support she probably would have gone back to her boyfriend after the incident but instead she never spoke to him again. I asked A.S. if she had any advice for girls that may be going through the same thing. Her response was to share it with someone they trust so they can help you and you can help yourself and to remember that no matter what may happen it is not their fault.
Last week I had the privilege of being a Table Host at the annual Sojourner Center Hope Luncheon, the Center’s biggest fundraiser and awareness event of the year. Approximately 1,000 people attended the luncheon at the Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix.
The Master of Ceremonies was Carl Mangold, LCSW, LISAC (also my co-founder in TheDVU) and speakers were: Connie Phillips, MSW, Executive Director of Sojourner Center, Julie Peterson, Jackie Valencia and Lorraine Bergman.
I had invited several people who are near and dear to my heart; friends and collegues whom I thought would enjoy the event and care deeply about the issue of domestic violence in our state. My guests were:
After the event, a couple guests emailed me with these comments:
“I appreciate the invite, and am very happy to support this incredibly worthwhile organization. What a great cause and very well done.”
“I had no idea that many people are being turned away when they need help – sad state of affairs”
According to an email from Sojourner Center the day following the Nov. 8, 2012 Hope Luncheon, the preliminary results are:
- 438 One time donors: $92,125
- 22 pledges: $5,125
- 60 Friends of Sojourner (those who pledge to give for multiple years): $17,960
- 31 New Sojourner Center Truth Society (pledging $1000+ annually for the next five years) Members: $203,000
- 6 Sojourner Center Truth Society Members increased pledges: $ 38,750
- Preliminary for 2012 Hope Luncheon: $358,060
I was pleased to share this exciting information. One of the guests, at my table, emailed me with this question:
“Just wondering – is that more than they need for operating expenses so they can open the other beds? Was a bit surprised that Sojourner couldn’t raise the operating expenses given the number of people and corporate sponsors. But of course I have no idea what the issue is.”
I forwarded the questions to Sojourner Center, Executive Director, Connie Phillips, who responded:
“It is not what we need to reopen but it keeps us set for this year’s operating expenses. The reality is that we still have a deficit even with the strong response. As Lorraine said, we actually have lost well over $1million since the recession began. We are simply treading water.”
Clearly Sojourner Center is still in need of on-going support. You can make that happen with your donation, including the Working Poor Tax Credit. It’s is easy and costs you nothing!
Simply make a donation to Sojourner Center by December 31, 2012, up to $200 per individual or $400 per couple, and include AZDOR Form 321 when you file your 2012 AZ state income tax.
You can make your tax credit eligible donation securely online at the Sojourner Center website by CLICKING HERE.
Help make sure that no woman or child who needs a bed at this shelter is ever turned away!
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
It’s an honor to be participating as a panelist at this discussion. I’ll represent employers and provide advice on measures they can take to prevent abuse, what employers can do and what policies can support their employees.
I hope you will make time next Saturday to attend this important event in recognition of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month – and all the Amy’s out there.
consulting · conversation · crime victim’s rights · domestic abuse · domestic violence at work · domestic violence awareness month · domestic violence in the workplace · domestic violence prevention · employees · family · personal safety · training · victim · victim’s rights · violence
Have you ever watched a TV commercial and knew that you just had to buy the featured product? Did you eat at a restaurant just because a friend raved about the food? Did you take a vacation to a place your sister had a fantastic time at first?
That’s the same idea behind workplaces that are Safe, Supportive and Sought-after. These are the businesses, big and small, that have built reputations for being desirable places to work.
Studies have shown that employees don’t leave a company, where they feel appreciated, just to earn a few pennies more somewhere else. The same is true for seeking employment.
It’s not pennies that keep someone in your employ, nor is it pennies that make them select a job at your location in the first place.
Companies are sought-after because of the positive way they treat their employees and for what they stand for. They’re also sought-after for what they won’t stand for; like domestic abuse.
When your company is committed to the health and safety of employees and to a supportive workplace environment in which employees feel comfortable discussing domestic violence and seeking assistance for domestic violence you will be the very definition of Safe, Supportive, and Sought-after.
Wouldn’t you agree?
Years ago I worked for a hospital that had a division that was a physician billing company and we had an employee whom I’ll call “Dee”. Dee came forward to me in the HR office and said that she was going through a very, very difficult divorce and that her husband was actually stalking her and waiting outside of her door to her house all the time. He was threatening her and threatening the safety of their two young boys who were only three and five years old. And he was also threatening to go to court and say that she was an unfit mother. She was scared that she was going to lose custody. She was scared for her safety and the boy’s safety. As you can imagine that would make it really hard for her to concentrate on the job.
I called my counterpart in Human Resources, a woman who I’ll call “Mary”, who had the same job that I did, but at another division and what Mary and I did was create a job transfer for Dee so that she could go to Mary’s division and work the same hours and get the same pay and do a very similar job to what she was doing for us. And that would really be helpful for Dee because money was critical. That was the one thing that would help her get back on her feet and away from her husband and successfully get divorced and be able to support the two boys. But then when, and if, the husband ever came to our workplace and looked for her we could truthfully say “She’s not here anymore, and she doesn’t work here.”
The night before Dee was supposed to transfer a couple of her co-workers came to me in my office and said, “Did you know that Dee was sitting out in her car in the parking lot crying her eyes out?” I said, “Well no, I didn’t know that.” I went out there and I tapped on the window, Dee rolled the window down and she’s crying, that kind of sobbing crying that probably all of you have done at one time or another when something horrific was happening. I said, “What’s going on Dee?” and she cried, “I told that other HR manager I didn’t want the transfer, and she screamed at me and she said, ‘do you know the hoops that I jumped through to get you this position, do you know the time it took me to create this job for you!’” Dee was just absolutely mortified. And I was stunned, stunned that a human resources professional, somebody like you, somebody like me, would have the audacity to re-victimize Dee in the manner that she did. Here Dee was fearful for her life as it was, feared for her children’s safety, and just because this woman had really an ideal situation, happily married, and no children, and just because she couldn’t really understand these situations and wasn’t putting herself in Dee’s shoes, that she only thought about the time it took her to create this position. She didn’t think about Dee at all.
I was mortified, and that was a real turning point for me. Although I had worked in human resources for many years and had other issues with employees that were dealing with domestic abuse and also grew up with it in my own life. That was really one of the moments, for me, was the intersection for helping HR managers understand the business case for addressing domestic abuse at the workplace. And I don’t know why Dee didn’t want that transfer. I never really asked her, but I’m going to guess that it’s because she knew that if she stayed with us we would validate her and we would do whatever we could do in our power to keep her safe, which is exactly what we had demonstrated by trying to get her that transfer. And the good news about all of that is we didn’t have to replace Dee we were able to retain a really, really valuable employee. It’s all about making your workplace a safe place to ask for help. And, it’s things like that, those small changes that have really big positive results that each one of you can do in your own workplaces as well.
How has your workplace succeeded? What could be improved? If you have comments and suggestions on how to make your own workplace a Safe Place to Ask for Help I’d love to hear them.
domestic abuse · domestic violence at work · domestic violence prevention · Domestic violence training · employees · Human Resources · management · personal safety · Safe place to ask for help · strategic leadership · training · victim