When we are busy at the office trying to meet deadlines, getting projects completed, answering phones that are ringing off the hook, domestic violence is probably one of the last things to cross our mind—unless we are a present victim.
How many of our coworkers are being buffeted by spousal or intimate partner abuse or violence, and keeping their secret well hidden from everyone? Do we even know the signs or red flags of potential domestic violence situations? Remember, the statistics tell us that one out of every four women in the USA will at some time be a victim of domestic/intimate partner violence. How many ladies are on staff where you work? Four? Which one is the one? Maybe you? Or is it the girl down the hall? You think nobody on your staff is a victim? Would you be shocked to suddenly hear screaming and a gunshot just yards away from your desk? Is your company set up to prevent such a scenario?
There are training seminars available for corporations and businesses to educate them on how to handle the existence of domestic violence in the lives of any of their staff members. One suggestion is to establish a policy, and possibly training, that will keep victims and other staff safe. If anyone has obtained a restraining or no-contact order, encourage them to provide a copy to the designated administrator or supervisor trained to handle such matters. And be sure to include a photograph of the party against whom the order was issued. Inform anyone who might be in the position of greeting those who enter the building. It’s possible their life could be endangered if the perpetrator feels they are not getting due cooperation. Encourage the victim to utilize the EAP, if you have one in place. Provide a parking spot that is close to the entrance, and perhaps even an escort into and out of the building. While these are suggestions, they are in no way meant to be a complete or concise manner of establishing a safety program for victims. That’s for the experts and professionals! They have the details and proper experience.
Many segments of corporate America are stepping up to the plate, working to help with their own campaigns to bring about awareness regarding domestic/intimate partner violence, such as Verizon, Liz Claiborne, Avon and Mary Kay. I’m sure there are many more, but not nearly enough.
It may not come down to having a coworker shot on the premises. You may just arrive to work one morning to be told that your friend was killed by her spouse or intimate partner during the night. No clue there was anything going on? Yeah, that goes on a lot. You see, victims of domestic and intimate partner violence can be really good at hiding the sordid facts and circumstances of their lives. I know—I did. The more I speak, the more I hear from friends the all too familiar questions, “How did you keep it so well hidden? How did we not know?” Maybe I was good at covering it up, or maybe they did not know what to look for.
The bottom line is this: How can corporate America participate in working to keep another life from being taken by domestic violence? How can we educate businesses and employees in ways to combat domestic violence? A great place to start is by visiting the website for the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence. Just CLICK HERE.
And while I’m at it, perhaps churches, synagogues, mosques and all other places of worship should consider looking into the things mentioned in this blog. Yes, it comes into the church, as well. Jeremiah Fogle has been indicted by the grand jury for the murder of his wife, Theresa, as well as shooting two pastors in Lakeland, Florida. His rampage was breaking news, and happened less than 12 hours after a confessing husband reported to the local police that he had beaten his wife, who consequently died from her injuries. Bea Dickey was an employee of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, where Lakeland is located. None of her coworkers saw that coming. Again, let me repeat myself: How can America’s corporations (and churches) participate in working to keep another life from being taken by domestic violence?
The line starts here!
Carolyn is an advocate for sexual/domestic violence and assault awareness, also focusing on child sexual abuse. She is a Victim Support & Empowerment Coach, working with victims and survivors of molestation, sexual assault, domestic violence or spousal abuse, bringing information and awareness to organizations seeking to properly help and support victims. Hear various interviews at the Broadcasts page of her website: orangeblossomwishes.com.
- Victims of Domestic Violence – Why Was Bea Dickey Murdered? (cshennecy.wordpress.com)
- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – The Statistics Are Appalling (cshennecy.wordpress.com)
- How Long Does Domestic Violence Last? (cshennecy.wordpress.com)
- Silent No Longer: Honoring Survivors and Victims of Domestic Violence (preventviolence.wordpress.com)
- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – When it’s Time to Think About Leaving (cshennecy.wordpress.com)