What is domestic violence
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What is Domestic Violence?. Domestic violence is the use of physical, sexual, and/or psychological coercion to establish and maintain control over a family or a household member.

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What is Domestic Violence?

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What is Domestic Violence?

  • Domestic violence is the use of physical, sexual, and/or psychological coercion to establish and maintain control over a family or a household member.

  • Domestic violence affects the workplace when an abuser harasses an employee who is on the job, when a victim is absent because of injuries or less productive due to stress, or when violence occurs at the workplace.


Possible Indicators of Domestic Violence

  • Bruises, cuts, burns, and fractures – especially injuries of the eyes, nose, teeth, and jaw.

  • Bruises that are unexplained or come with explanations that do not add up.

  • Injuries that go untreated or are in different stages of healing.

  • Anxiety-related conditions (feelings of panic).

  • Depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, or alcohol/drug problems.


Indicators, Continued…

  • Stress-related physical ailments (i.e. headaches, problems with sleeping, or low energy).

  • Inappropriate clothing or accessory, possibly worn to cover up signs of injury.

  • Attendance problems, difficulty concentrating, or problems meeting deadlines.

  • Repeated upsetting telephone calls at work.

  • Withdrawal from co-workers.


Abusers’ Impact on the Workplace

  • Making physical or sexual assaults or threats against the victim, children, or co-workers (i.e. threaten to take the children away or destroy property; threats of suicide).

  • Making the victim account for every minute of the day (i.e. the abuser drops off and picks up the victim from work).

  • Making the victim late for work or sabotaging job performance (i.e. by keeping the victim up all night or destroying work clothes).

  • Controlling the victim’s use of personal, sick or vacation time.


Abusers’ Impact on the Workplace, Continued…

  • Sabotaging the victim’s efforts to attend medical or counseling appointments by not providing childcare or transportation.

  • Isolating the victim from co-workers, friends, and family so there is no support system other than the abuser.

  • The abuser stalks the victim or makes frequent telephone calls or emails to monitor whereabouts.


Common Barriers to Asking about Domestic Violence

  • Denial: Assuming that the question does not need to be asked because domestic violence does not happen that often…

  • Pessimism: Assuming that it won’t help to ask…

  • Personal Feelings: Feeling uncomfortable because the subject brings up your own personal issues…


Common Barriers, Continued...

  • Lack of Knowledge: Feeling uncomfortable because you are not familiar with the dynamics of domestic violence or the available resources…

  • Powerlessness and Isolation: Not knowing how to help once someone discloses that they are experiencing problems or feeling like you are the only one who knows or cares…


Why Managers Should Take Action

  • Domestic Violence affects many employees.

  • It is a security and liability concern as well as a health care concern.

  • Domestic Violence is a management issue as it affects both the private and working lives of employees.

  • Domestic Violence is a performance and productivity concern.

  • Taking action in response to domestic violence works and managers can make a difference.


Appropriate Response to Workplace Violence

  • Be aware of the indicators of domestic violence.

  • If an employee or co-workers approach you about domestic violence, talk to the employee in a confidential setting.

  • Express concern and listen without judging; offer help and information.

  • Support the victim’s decisions and maintain confidentiality.

  • Express concern for the victim’s safety; encourage the employee to talk to domestic violence counselors who can listen and problem-solve.


Appropriate Response Continued…

  • Post information about domestic violence in your work area and have information available where employees can retrieve it confidentially.

  • As a supervisor, adjust the employee’s work schedule as considered necessary or reasonable or consider transfer of the employee to another work area for her safety.

  • Refer the employee to the UNC Hospitals Beacon Child & Family Program, Employee Relations, or to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for further counseling and resources.


When to Report to Hospital Police

  • It is hospital policy that if there is a potential of violence, if the victim has a valid Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO), or ex parte order, it is mandatory for the supervisor to report to Hospital Police. They will keep the order on file.

  • Hospital Police can assist the victim in safety planning.


UNCHCS Employee Relations and Employee Assistance Program

  • Employee Relations is available to assist employees who are experiencing domestic violence. Their phone number is 966-2262.

  • The Employee Assistance Program is available to any employee who is experiencing problems which affect their work performance or well-being. Their contact number is 929-2362.


UNC Hospitals Beacon Program

  • Beacon Child & Family Program is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact Information:

    • Phone number is 966-9314

    • Pager is 1-888-378-0551

  • The Beacon Program Social Workers provide counseling and education to employees who are victims of domestic violence.

  • They will assist the victim with developing alternatives and referring to other agencies that can provide ongoing support and legal advice.


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