Domestic violence isn’t a tragedy. It is a failure of the family unit on all fronts. When it occurs, domestic violence isn’t just going to stay in the home either. It spills over into other areas of life, including the workplace.
Domestic violence happens to all relationship units, no matter what the sexual preference, racial demographics, ethnicity, or religious preferences happen to be.
Domestic Violence in the Workplace
The most common reason for domestic violence is to demonstrate control. This may occur by a current or former intimate partner or other family member. It does not have to be physical violence either. Domestic violence can be psychological, emotional, or even economic in nature as well.
- Nearly 33% of women killed in U.S. workplaces between 2003-2008 were killed by a current or former intimate partner.
- From 1997-2009, 358 people in the United States were killed by an intimate partner or family member while on the job. 321 of those people were women.
- 44% of American employees have experienced at least one incident or effect from domestic violence in the workplace.
- 1 in 5 American workers say that they have been the victim of domestic violence in the workplace at least once in their lives.
- 25%. That’s the percentage of large corporations with a minimum of 1,000 employees who have reported at least one incident of domestic violence in the workplace within the last 12 months.
Domestic violence is not the victim’s fault. There are many factors that come into play when violence does occur, but it is the choice of the perpetrator to be violent, manipulative, or to withhold an economic advantage. When it spills into the workplace, collateral damage is always going to happen. This is why it is so important for everyone to recognize the signs and symptoms of domestic violence. The workplace might be the one safe place a victim has. We can help by finding a way to intervene before it is too late.
Does Domestic Violence Hurt Productivity?
- 7.2 days. That’s the amount of work-related productivity that is lost every year from an employee that is experiencing domestic violence in some form.
- More than 33 days of home productivity, including the loss of school time for children, is lost because of domestic violence.
- About 130,000 victims of stalking in a 12 month period in 2006 reported that they were fired or asked to leave their jobs because of the actions of their stalker.
- 1 in 8 employees who are being stalked will lose time from work because of their fears of being unsafe at work. 50% of those who lost time lost 5 days or more.
- 40% of people who self-identify as the victim of domestic violence say that they fear their partner will pay them an unexpected visit at work.
- 98% of the victims of domestic violence find that it is more difficult to concentrate on specific work responsibilities.
Although there are always going to be costs to domestic violence to the employer, nothing is greater than the cost that occurs to the employee. Not only are sick days and vacation time wasted because of domestic violence, but employees experience monetary costs as well. The bottom line is this: domestic violence in the workplace hurts everyone when a perpetrator attacks, so stopping it must become a top priority.
What Are the Costs of Domestic Violence in the Workplace?
- The CDC estimates that $5.8 billion is spent on direct medical care and mental health needs due to the acts of domestic violence.
- The direct costs to employers for domestic violence in the workplace is estimated to be over $8 billion annually.
- Almost 8 million paid work days are lost every year due to domestic violence, enough time to fill more than 32,000 FTEs.
- Only 13% of corporate executives think their companies should address domestic violence, despite 55% recognizing that it impacts their bottom line.
- 91% of employees say that domestic violence in the workplace has a negative impact, but only 43% of executives agree.
7 out of 10 workplaces in the United States do not have any policies or procedures in place to deal with domestic violence when it occurs. If we are to start making changes to limit the costs and negative impacts of domestic violence in the workplace, then this is a good place to start. Nobody should fear for their lives when they are at work. By taking action now, this fear can begin to be reduced.