Facts on Domestic violence and the workplace

By Sharon Langer

On average, four or five women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends each day and women experience two million incidents of intimate partner violence each year. It only makes sense that domestic violence spills over into the workplace. It can be in-person harassment or phone calls, absenteeism because of injuries or less productivity due to extreme distress. Domestic violence for an employer is both a health and safety issue and also affects businesses and their bottom line.

Here are a few examples of the toll on productivity.

  • A 2005 study found that women experiencing intimate partner violence reported 7.2 days of work related lost productivity and 33.9 days in productivity losses associated with household chores, child care, volunteer activities and social activities. In other words, a great deal of time lost because of violence.
  • A study of 130,000 victims of stalking from 2005 to 2006, reported that they were fired or asked to leave their jobs because of stalking.
  • About one in eight employed stalking victims lost time from work because of fear for their safety or because they need to get protection in court. More than half lost 5 days or more from work.

More than 70 percent of workplaces do not have a formal workplace violence program or policies to address workplace violence. We are fortunate in Miami Dade County that our County passed an ordinance in 2010. Ordinance No 7-43 establishes policies for handling domestic violence in the County work place and gives guidance to all county employees who are victims. They have even established a multi-disciplinary team that will respond when an employee or their supervisor is in need of guidance. We have included a link to the ordinance.

We will continue to bring you information on this important topic this year as we continue our work on behalf of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

If you have a questions please email me sharon@justdigit.org