Comprehensive Workplace Prevention and Response Program
The recent tragic shooting at a spa near Milwaukee demonstrates the very real impact of domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking on the workplace. The shooter, Radcliffe Haughton, had a long history of domestic violence against his wife, Zina Haughton, who was an employee at the spa. The week before the shooting, Ms. Haughton obtained a restraining order against her husband, which also required him to turn over all his weapons to the sheriff. Nevertheless, Mr. Haughton was able to purchase another weapon and enter his wife’s workplace, where he shot seven women, three fatally, including Ms. Haughton.
Don’t Wait For Something to Happen
Unfortunately some workplaces experience disruptive or violent incidents or lose valued co-workers because of perpetrators of domestic or sexual violence. Recently the media has reported four other deadly shootings around the country by current or former intimate partners at the workplaces of victims who had recently obtained orders of protection.
Many workplaces are unprepared for these events. Don’t let this happen to you. Put together a comprehensive, proactive workplace program that focuses on prevention as well as response. Elements of such a program include:
Conducting an employee needs assessment survey
- Find out if your workplace is adequately addressing employees’ needs and concerns. This questionnaire can help: http://www.workplacesrespond.org/evaluate/monitoring-and-evaluating/initial-evaluation
Getting the support of the CEO or owner
- Proactively addressing domestic and sexual violence in the workplace makes good business sense and saves lives.
- Find useful statistics on the workplace impact of these forms of violence:http://www.workplacesrespond.org/learn/the-facts
- Watch a short film featuring companies who decided to address the impact of domestic violence in the workplace: http://www.workplacesrespond.org/assess/real-world-examples/workplaces-speak-up
- Use the domestic violence cost calculator to estimate how much domestic violence is costing your business: http://www.workplacesrespond.org/assess/cost-calculator
Building a multidisciplinary response team with HR, EAP, legal, security, the union and others
- Which departments or personnel would become involved if, for instance, an employee revealed they were a victim and that the perpetrator might approach the workplace, even if there was an order of protection? Does each department understand its roles and responsibilities?
Conducting awareness raising activities
With only a few small steps you can help raise awareness and connect people in your workplace to the assistance they may need:
- Put up a poster demonstrating your workplace’s commitment to addressing domestic and sexual violence and stalking. (Use our downloadable poster at http://www.workplacesrespond.org/implement/programs-for-awareness/poster-creation-tool)
- Put up a sign, or place cards, in bathrooms or breakrooms that indicate that there is help for victims of domestic and sexual violence and stalking, and list the contact information for national and local resources. (see http://www.workplacesrespond.org/resources for a list of national resources).
- Ask your human resource or Employee Assistance program professionals or union leadership to send an email to staff, or to make a short presentation to workers, about domestic and sexual violence and stalking, their effects in the workplace and how to seek help at work or at home. They can use our quiz (http://www.workplacesrespond.org/assess/assess-your-knowledge) to help get the conversation started.
- Human resources or Employee Assistance Program professionals can help workers who need time off or other workplace changes to keep working and stay safe. Our interactive training tool can help them think through some of these issues. (http://www.workplacesrespond.org/implement/education-and-training/interact)
Conducting a workplace risk/threat assessment
- Firearms can sharply increase the lethality of a domestic violence situation. For information on how employers can take steps to prevent gun violence in the workplace, seehttp://www.workplacesrespond.org/learn/the-facts/firearms-and-workplace-violence.
Developing and implementing workplace policies/protocols
- A policy addressing the workplace impact of domestic and sexual violence and stalking is an important part of this program.
- According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 70% of U.S. workplaces do not have a formal program or policy that addresses workplace violence.
- To get started, use our policy creation tool (http://www.workplacesrespond.org/policy_tool/begin) or review our model workplace policy (http://www.workplacesrespond.org/learn/model-policy).
- Read our Protection Order Guide to understand the connection between protection orders and the workplace (http://www.workplacesrespond.org/learn/protection-order-guide
Conducting education and training for leadership and employee.
- The Guide For Supervisors can help address the supervisor’s role in addressing common workplace issues when an employee is a victim, and when an employee is a perpetrator:http://www.workplacesrespond.org/implement/guide-for-supervisors
Building relationships with community stakeholders like service providers and law enforcement
- See http://www.workplacesrespond.org/resources for a list of national resources
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!