Human Resource Essential Blog
Making Workplaces that are Safe, Supportive and Sought-After

TAG | domestic violence prevention

What a painful article to read. This is exactly why I urge employers of all types and sizes of businesses to take advantage of Domestic Abuse training.  If this guy had been required to sit in a class he would have learned about his own behaviors – even if by osmosis.  Maybe a spark of recognition would be lit.

That education by osmosis may well have led him to being directed to counseling and resources.  Maybe by self-referral, maybe by employer suggestion.  Behaviors and relationships might have changed.  A woman’s life might have been saved.  Another inmate in our correctional system might have been avoided.  Why are we still avoiding this issue?  Why are we so reluctant to address prevention?  Aren’t you ready to lift the veil of taboo and secrecy?  Aren’t you ready to stop this madness?

Article 7-19-14.pdf

· · · · ·



A Lesson for the Ages

tcp_0237 for blogThose of you who know me well are aware that a couple years ago my family experienced a really dark period of about eight months.  We had an addition to our family; an exchange student who blended with us like she was mysteriously from the same gene pool.  She even looked enough like me that people thought she was my daughter – and that my daughter was a friend.  She and my daughter were inseparable and closer than most sisters.  In fact, our exchange student would often say she was closer to my daughter than to her own sister.  My husband and I were her parents; shopping for clothes, checking report cards, meeting with teachers, going through boyfriend drama – you name it.

What had started as a really joyful few months came to an abrupt halt when the sponsoring organization (you’ll note I’m leaving names out) randomly, and almost by accident, announced they were moving her to another home more than a month before the previously agreed date.

The girls were devastated.  My husband and were I shell-shocked and mystified.  For the next month the four of us counted minutes with foggy brains like we’d taken sleeping pills while trying to stay awake.

The bottom fell out of our lives.  All of us.  My daughter took it the worst.  Her grades went down, her weight went up.

Left to her own devises at her new home, our former exchange student was swooped up by a group of girls that made it their unmitigated mission to ostracize my daughter and sever the two girls’ relationship.  Jealousy and competitiveness turned this group of girls into the embodiment of everything you think of when you think “mean girls”.  Why not, when popularity is the prize?

My daughter did a masterful job of persevering through that dark period. I didn’t want to be an alarmist, but I also was painfully aware that suicide in girls was rising.  It wasn’t easy, but we got through the phase.

Now her social life, her grades and her health are all doing really well.  I think a lot of that came from frequent conversations and encouragement – and letting her know that the pain she felt was temporary.  In a couple years no one would remember.  Or they’d chalk it up to “those crazy teen years”.

I can’t tell you how sad this made me a few weeks ago. I agree so much with Ms. Hull; why are kids so unprepared to deal sadness that is a part of life?

So, if you’re like most parents and looking for resources – here are a few.

How to Help Teens Deal with Rejection

· · · ·

tcp_0237 for blog

People who’ve had conversations with me often hear me say, “I live, sleep, eat, breathe domestic violence”.  Meaning it’s what I do.

Ha!  Thought you caught me- silly people!  It’s not what I do.  I don’t perpetrated  it!  It’s what I do, what I am, and what I have a passion for as a Consultant Subject Matter Expert – SME.

Even in company Train the Trainer situations the trained individual will lack the in-depth, expertise, knowledge and experience of the SME.  Worse yet, they may have personal biases to the issue.  They may not be able to answer challenging questions or handle uncomfortable situations.  Their facts and statistics may be out of date; all of which may be reflected in the training itself, the outcome for attendees and long term results for the company.

To bring, or keep, an in-house trainer up-to-speed will cost time and money that detracts from their regular duties. All of that is moot when you bring in an SME whose career is based on:

  • being a problem solver to make an immediate impact with minimal ramp-up time,
  • lowers the client’s risk by conveying correct information,
  • is a valuable information resource and provides a wealth of knowledge and support to clients,
  • may serve as liaison to the functional area from which they obtained their expertise or adjacent resources and industries (i.e. Human Resource Essential’s long-term relationships with EAPs, attorneys and shelters),
  • an SME will have strong expertise in one or more areas directly related to their subject,
  • SMEs are often the “go to” people for assistance and up-to-date information on policies, processes, and critical incidents – for example, our clients are comfortable, and even prefer, their employees contact us directly for information and a place to voice personal issues.

Do you expect your in-house trainer to live, sleep, eat, and breathe domestic violence?

SMEs have a passion for their work.  When it comes to something as emotionally demanding as domestic violence – how the material is conveyed will make a significant difference in the outcome.

I’m always happy to talk with you about improving your domestic violence initiative.  Just give me a call at (480) 726-9833 or send an email to I’d love to hear from you.

· · · · · · · · · ·




On November 7th 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 Fairmont Princess Resort in Scottsdale, AZ.

For many, this was the first opportunity to meet Sojourner’s new Executive Director, Maria Garay, MSW. PhD.  Dr. Garay’s short speech, that afternoon, was enlightening, heartfelt and inspirational.  I can tell you from the few times I’ve had the pleasure to spend time talking with her, she is a truly remarkable person.

I had invited several people who are near and dear to my heart; friends and colleagues whom I thought would enjoy the event and care deeply about the issue of domestic violence in our state.  My guests were:

Bobbie Fox, Esq., SCF Arizona

Terrie Kolker, Hayden & Hayden Insurance

Carl Mangold, LCSW, LISAC Partner in

Deila Mangold, Community Member

Lisa Pressman, singer/songwriter

Tim Ponzek, singer/songwriter

Laura Lawless Robertson, Atty. Squire Sanders

Julie Bernal, Community Member

Cara Lind, Regional Dir. Metabolic Research


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, 2013, up to $200 per individual or $400 per couple, and include AZDOR Form 321 when you file your 2013 AZ state income tax.

There are several other ways to donate as well.  All the necessary links can be found here:

Plus, you can make the Working Poor Tax Credit even if you’ve done other tax credits for example, to your child’s soccer program.   Talk to your accountant or CPA.

Thanks for all you can do to help!




· · · · · ·

To my readers:  I have the humbling privilege to know Dr. Maria Garay, Sojourner Center’s new Executive Director.  Together we are creating energizing, meaningful initiatives to address relationship violence.  Recently Sojourner published a newsletter to introduce Maria to the community and she has generously allowed me to post her newsletter for you.


Dear Friends & Supporters,

My name is Dr. Maria Garay and I am so excited to be joining the Sojourner Center team as the new Executive Director. I come to Phoenix from Los Angeles, CA and have been working at the executive level for the past twenty years in the human services field. I have been at Sojourner Center since the beginning of September and can already see how special and amazing this place is. I am honored to be a part of this wonderful organization, with its rich history and mission of helping women and children overcome the impact of domestic violence.

You see, ending the cycle of domestic violence is something I am very passionate about. While this is a multi-faceted problem without an easy or clear solution, I believe Sojourner Center has and is ending the cycle of violence for the women and children we serve. I believe you can help us break the cycle of violence too, by talking about this issue and the work we are doing, with your friends, family, and coworkers. A recent study revealed that despite 80% of Americans acknowledging that domestic violence is a problem in our society, only 15% think it is a problem among their friends. We know this can’t be true, since studies show 1-in-4 women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime.

This widespread silence is a problem for many reasons. First, it makes domestic violence victims feel isolated and alone. Second, the silence perpetuates the shame and embarrassment that domestic violence victims might feel. Third, by not talking about it, people don’t always know how to recognize abuse or how to help someone who is being abused.

Let’s break the silence about domestic violence and make it easier for victims to get the help and support they need.

I also want to make sure you know about two very important numbers. The first is easy to remember, 2-1-1. This is a 24-hour bilingual hotline that will connect people in crisis with domestic violence and homeless shelters throughout Arizona. The second is 602-244-0089, this is Sojourner Center’s 24-hour crisis line. We are available day or night to talk to anyone who may be in crisis have questions about domestic violence, or need help planning how to leave an abusive relationship. I hope you will put these numbers in a safe place where you can find them and share them if you ever need to.

Thank you all for your continued support and partnership with this amazing organization. Together, we can end the cycle of domestic violence for every woman and child we serve.




· · · · · · ·

Stephanie Angelo

Stephanie Angelo 

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs says, “There remains an extraordinary lack of awareness and level of denial about the existence of this type of violence.”  When I speak to people about domestic violence they talk about what a terrible problem it is for “those people.”  As if unless we experience it first hand it has nothing to do with us.  But it does; and it’s costly.

The Centers for Disease control (CDC) reports that costs of intimate partner violence (IPV) against women alone in 1995 exceeded an estimated $5.8 billion. These costs included nearly $4.1 billion in the direct costs of medical and mental health care and nearly $1.8 billion in the indirect costs of lost productivity (CDC 2003). This is generally considered an underestimate because the costs associated with the criminal justice system were not included.

When updated to 2003 dollars, IPV costs exceeded $8.3 billion, which included $460 million for rape, $6.2 billion for physical assault, $461 million for stalking, and $1.2 billion in the value of lost lives (Max et al. 2004).

Here are the 10 Critical Elements for Successful Domestic Violence Training

1. It starts at the top

When the company’s key officers make an organizational commitment to training and personally attend sessions, and ensure all levels are included, you’re on the road to your program’s success.

2. Your Trainer

Have your training conducted by an outside organization that is clearly informed and involved in domestic abuse (DV), has up-to-date information and training is facilitated by someone who understands the dynamics of abuse.

3. Why should we talk about it?

Your training must open with a discussion of why we talk about this issue.  Allow people to get comfortable with the topic.  The taboos are the hardest “nut to crack” and one of the biggest reasons why domestic abuse continues to increase as a societal problem.

4. Statistics

Have training cover the most current statistics both locally and nationally.  Your employees need a realistic picture of how prevalent the issue is.

 5. Whom it affects

There are several demographic groups affected by DV.  Your training should cover the four groups most affected by abuse and discuss how they’re affected.

6. The monetary toll 

Particularly, employers and division heads need to understand the cost-related issues that affect the company’s bottom line.

7. Myths and Facts

It’s important in ending taboos and misguided judgments to understand the complex dynamics of abuse and what lies at the heart of the problem.

8. Recognizing the signs

While signs of abuse are occasionally “obvious,” such as bruises, most often they are very subtle.  Only those well trained in recognizing the subtle signs can educate others on what is often unseen and unfelt by anyone other than the victim.

9. How to help 

Often we want to jump in and provide solutions.  But this is likely to be the least helpful approach to solving the victim’s problem.  It’s imperative that we learn the right ways to help; what to do is as important as what not to do.

10. Employers responsibilities

As employers, our liability is on the line. We have a General Duty under OSHA to provide “…a safe and healthful working environment.”  As Futures Without Violence (formerly the Family Violence Prevention Fund) states, “In one case, a wrongful death action against an employer who failed to respond to an employee’s risk of domestic violence on the job cost the employer $850,000.”

As a part of this training I urge employers to develop Workplace Violence Prevention Plans, establish Safety Committees, adopt Safety Policies and Procedures and to include these components in their regular Domestic Violence Awareness training.

Return on Investment

The most difficult “pitfall” to overcome is the taboo associated with DV training.  Employees tend to feel that attendance at training is a “red flag” that they might be victims.  To ensure everyone receives training, it must be required by the employer on paid time.

The good news is that when you succeed with your training you will open the doors for employees to come forward to the appropriate reporting party which is the first step in getting help.

Your return on training investment will grow over the years.  Employees and the outside community will perceive your organization as one that cares about the problem of domestic abuse and is actively doing something to be part of the solution.


Stephanie Angelo, founder of Human Resource Essential, LLC, pioneered a process which translates domestic abuse to determine the financial impact on organizations. We specialize in the business case for addressing the organizational impact, training, management consulting and program support for ongoing change. If you’re not certain that your workplace is Safe, Supportive and Sought-After contact us – we can help!  Visit


· · · · · · · · · · · ·

It  would be great to not say, “Here we go again”.  But here we are “Fort Thomas shooting victim denied restraining order months before attempted murder-suicide”

Another person gunned down for the crime of ending a relationship.  Another family mourning the loss.

Another person convinced that they have nothing left to lose and are entitled to possessing another human being, turns the gun on himself.  His family is morning a loss too.

It looks like, in this case, that the victim tried what she could.  She got an order of protection, or tried to.  It was denied.  Really?  Who does that?  Granted and OOP may not guarantee safety.  But she evidentially believed she was doing the right thing.  Who would deny at least trying?

I’ll be clear: it would be irresponsible of me to claim that workplace domestic violence polices will be the “be-all-end-all” cure to these heinous acts.  I can confidently say tell you that a comprehensive domestic violence program and policy will make a huge difference.  Huge.  We already know this from employees coming forward to their trained designee to get the help and referrals they need.  We already know this from well-trained individuals who identify and assist those that may not be willing to come forward, or haven’t even self-identified that they are, indeed, victims.

You know that good workplace domestic violence and workplace violence trainings can stop these would-be shooters in their tracks.  It’s been done before.

You’ll never be able to put a dollar figure to something you prevented and to the unknown crimes that could have happened, but didn’t.  You can put a dollar figure on increased productivity, increased worker satisfaction, health, and morale.  You can put a dollar figure on reduced turnover, reduced health care costs and mental health care costs.  You can put a price on what state and federal non-compliance would cost you.  You can put a price on what plaintiff’s awards to grieving families could cost you.

For the employee whose life you changed when you stepped in and offered non-judgmental support, guidance and life-saving resources; priceless.

We know.  We’re experts at creating workplaces that are safe, supportive and sough-after.  When the phone rings and a client says, “we want to prevent this from happening to us” we can smile when we say “here we go again.”

· · · · · · · · · · ·

HRE ProcessSSS

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.

· · · · · ·

4 people squared

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.  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.


· · · ·

Older posts >>

Theme Design by