Workplace Violence Safety Through Prevention Setting A Policy Open your eyes and you’ll see it, Open your ears and you’ll hear it! 10/08 David R. Thomas M.S. Johns Hopkins University
Goal of Workplace Violence Training • Develop an understanding of domestic violence and its impact on the workplace • Develop policies in the workplace that addressdomestic violence • Develop a coordinated response to domestic violence in the workplace • Develop employees’ awareness and skill in recognizing, responding to, and supporting employees who are victims of domestic violence
Definitions • Workplace violence is any; physical assault, threatening behavior, or verbal abuse occurring in the work setting • A worksetting is any location either permanent or temporary where an employee performs any work related duty
Definition Cont’d • This includes, but is not limited to, the buildings, the campus, vehicles and any area under the supervision of the entity.
Beatings Stabbings Suicides Shootings Rapes Near-suicides Psychological traumas Threats or obscene phone calls Intimidation Harassment of any nature Being followed, sworn or shouted at Workplace Violence Includes:
Types of Workplace Violence Violence by: - Strangers - Co-Workers - Personal Relations
Categories and Analyses of Threats • Threat from strangers • Threat from business associates • Threat from co-workers • Threat from domestic relations
Understanding The Problem Domestic Violence in MD • Domestic violence related crimes • Every 5 days • 1 in 4 women Will it effect the workplace?
Understanding The Problem • 26, 544 women • One-fourth, or 6,636 women • 6000 state employees Will it effect the workplace?
Domestic Violence Overview • Clarifying what domestic violence is: • And what domestic violence is not: It is exerted through physical, psychological and/or economic means.
“Relationship” defined In the context of discussing domestic violence, intimate relationships are ones in which heterosexual or homosexual partners are involved and which have, or had, a sexual relationship or emotional relationship.
Relationship Abuse • A disagreement? • An anger management problem? • A relationship with “ups and downs?” • Pattern of violent behaviors • Utilized in intimate relationships • May result in injury and/or death • Includes verbal, sexual, and economic control over another person
Domestic Violence Who are the victims of domestic violence? • There is no typical victim • Approximately 3.3 million children a year witness violence against their mothers • In one study, 23.8% of shelter victims reported observing animal cruelty by their abusers
Do Women Abuse Men? Women do use violence in intimate relationships. They both initiate violence and use violence in self-defense. Women do controlling things in relationships and can be abusive to their partners.
Women’s Use Of Violence Yet, when we look at and study women’s violence in intimate relationships we find that women do not typically accompany their violence with intimidation, rape, and coercion, even in abusive relationships. Violence is not an effective tool for most women. While women use violence, they use it in very different ways.
Profile of Domestic Violence Victims Domestic violence crosses ethnic, racial, age, national origin, religious and socioeconomic lines. • Approx. 4 million American women experience a serious assault by an intimate during an average 12 month period • 25-50% of all marriages experience violence in the relationship
Profile of Domestic Violence Victims • 65% of intimate homicide victims physically separated from their abuser • 25-50% of pregnant women are battered • Up to 50% of all homeless women and children are fleeing domestic violence • An average of 28% of high school and college students experience dating violence • 27% of domestic violence victims are children
Effects of Domestic Violence on Children Patterns of violent behavior are passed from one generation to the next. Approximately 30% of boys who witness violence in the home grow up to abuse. Sonswitnessing their fathers’ violence have a 1,000% higher rate of wife abuse. The majority of abused women who use shelterservices bring their children. 72% brought children with them with 21% accompanied by three or more kids
Understanding Domestic Violence THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE Tension Building Phase Serious Battering Phase Honeymoon Phase
Threats Fear Stalking Victim Retaliation No Place To Go/Hide Economic Dependency Lack Of Resources Lack of Support Love Children Religion Preservation Of Family Hope Denial Shame Guilt No Relationship Role Models WHY DO VICTIMS STAY?
Remember “In an abnormal situation, it is normal to respond in abnormal ways!” Victor Frankl Concentration Camp Survivor
VICTIMS • The weight of multiple harms • Cumulative effect • Leaving is a process not an event • Their safety is at greatest risk when they try to leave or “participate” in criminal justice process • They leave in greater numbers than “unhappy spouses” • They don’t pick batterers.. batterers pick them!
Abuse And The Excuse • Mental illness • Loss of control • Anger problem • Alcohol/substance abuse
Why Abuse? The claim: Anger is the problem The fact: 5 to 7% of batterers cannot control their anger The claim: I just lost control The fact: 5 to 10% have poor impulse control
Perpetrators Believe: • Entitled to control their partner • Partner is obligated to obey them • They get what they want through violence • They are moral people even if they use violence • Will not suffer significantadverse physical, legal, economic or personal consequences
Myths or Facts About Domestic Violence? • Domestic violence effects only a smallproportion of the population • Battering is only a momentaryloss of control • Victims of domestic violence like to be beaten • Victims of domestic violence have psychologicaldisorders
Myths or Facts • Low self-esteemcauses victims to be involved in abusive relationships • Victims of domestic violence never leave their abusers, or if they do, they just get involved in other abusive relationships • Perpetrators abuse their partners or spouses because of alcohol or drug abuse • Perpetrators of DV abuse their partners because they are under a lot of stress
Myths or Facts • Law enforcement and judicial responses, such as arresting perpetrators or issuing civil protective orders, are useless • Children are not effected when one parent abuses the other • Domestic violence is irrelevant toparentalfitness
Why a workplace issue? If a domestic violence victim leaves their abuser, where do you think the abuser would have more difficulty locating them, at a new residence or at work?
National Benchmark Survey 2005 The Impact of DV on the American Workplace • “Very important issues” ranking • “Very aware” • Experienced impact of DV on the workplace. • Identified self as victims • Socio-economic status Domestic Violence Report, Vol. 11, No. 4, April/May 2006
Is Workplace Violence Really a Problem? Look at the facts: • Domestic Violence cost big business $5-8Billion annually • 74% of employed battered women are harassed at work • 56% are late at least five times per month • 28%leave early at least five times per month
Economic Impact of Workplace Violence Cost • 500,000 employees1,175,100 lose workdays each year • Lost wages: $55 million annually • Lostproductivity, legal expenses, property damage, diminished public image, increased security: $BILLIONS $
Domestic Violence & The Workplace • 54%miss at least three full days of work a month • 24-30% of domestic violence victims lost their jobs • Workplace violence has tripled in the last decade • Among workplace violence victims who tooksome type of protective action more that 80% believed it helped the situation
Statistics on Workplace Violence • Homicide is the second leading cause of death in the workplace • In 1997, there were 856 homicides in America’s workplaces • Assaults and threats of violence number almost 2 million a year
Statistics • Most common form of violence was simple assaults: 1.5 million a year • Aggravated assaults: 396,000 • Rapes and sexual assaults: 51,000 • Robberies: 84,000 • Homicides: nearly 1,000
National Benchmark Survey • 64% “Significantly Impacted” • 26% “Somewhat Impacted” How? • Distracted • Fear of Discovery • Harassment @ work by intimate • Lateness • Fear of unexpected visits by intimate • Inability to complete assignments • Job loss & Problems with boss
National Benchmark Survey Impact on Co-Workers • 27% - Extremely to somewhat frequentlyhad to do victim’s work • 31% - Strongly to somewhat obliged to cover for the victim • 25% - Resented co-worker due to the effect of the situation on the workplace • 38% - extremely to somewhat concerned for their personal safety
Victims Work Experience • 25% written up/fired • 61% employers unaware • 85% abuse affected job • 85% utilized health care system • 25% stalked at work • 7% never returned to work (Survey Report by Violence Free Families committee on Workplace Violence, August, 2002, Springfield Missouri)
Predictability Violence doesn’t usually just happen, like the weather, it’s predictable. 80% of workplace violence is domestic violence related.
Predictability Corporate America • “Violence can’t happen here” • Employee Pool • Society
Predictability • Sexual harassment training • Senior executives were included. • Domestic/workplace violence education. This must be committed to by workplace executives; for if they are committed, change will occur.
Predictability Two documents a perpetrator will walk around with before an incident are the Grievance Procedure Manual and the Corporate Personnel Manual. These individuals will read these documents and take them literally. They will know it as well as anyone. These are red flags.
Predictability Many times it is Management v. Union, perpetrators use the union to protect them.