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Workplaces Respond to Domestic & Sexual Violence

Training and Education Methods

Methods for Sharing Domestic and Sexual Violence Information and Resources in the Workplace

Employers and unions may use one or several of the following ways of getting information out to employees, members and managers:

  • In-person trainings or workshops
  • Web-based training (see Interact with a Virtual Employee, on this website).
  • Video-conferencing or satellite training
  • Website or newsletter articles
  • Referral resource lists in printed or web format
  • Posters, brochures or safety cards
    • Distributed to all employees or members
    • Distributed in lunchrooms, meeting areas and washrooms
    • Available through Human Resources, Employee Services, union officers/stewards and/or managers
  • Distributing information at employee health fairs or similar events
  • Including policy and resource content in employee handbooks, management guidebooks or other written policy and procedural materials

Partnering with Domestic and Sexual Violence Experts

By partnering with community domestic and sexual violence service providers on training initiatives, workplaces will have immediate access to people who have the expertise to assist employees. Community providers can serve as co-trainers, presenting the domestic and sexual violence awareness and resource content, and be available to talk to employees who come forward with questions after training.

Incorporating Domestic and Sexual Violence Content in Other Trainings

For some workplaces, it may be practical to incorporate domestic and sexual violence content into other training agendas, including workplace violence prevention training, work/family seminars, health and safety trainings, basic manager training and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) orientations.

Ongoing Education

In order to reach new hires and newly promoted managers, some form of ongoing education or training is needed. Consider including content on domestic and sexual violence awareness and relevant policies or procedures in new employee orientation or new manager training.

Suggestions for Small Employers

For small employers, the costs and time required for training may make it difficult, but there is a workable option: the consortium model. Partnering with a consortium of several small employers, perhaps through a local chamber of commerce, to plan a joint training event lowers costs significantly. In addition, local domestic and/or sexual violence service providers are often happy to provide violence awareness training at such community events, usually at a low or no cost. A security expert could be brought in to the training to discuss security and safety planning.

The same domestic and/or sexual violence service providers can act as an ongoing resource for your organization, consulting with managers and/or the union about how to refer victim-employees for services or about how to understand the effects of violence on employees. Establishing an ongoing relationship with a local provider means having an expert partner on call when the complicated needs triggered by domestic or sexual violence situations arise.

Suggestions for Larger Employers

Larger employers need to consider how to deliver a standardized message across multiple sites, in various geographic locations and environments. To centralize the process, develop and distribute a standardized curriculum built on policies. As the needs of each worksite may differ somewhat, also have ways of adapting the materials.

Some workplaces use a Train the Trainer method, preparing internal trainers to do worksite training within regions. Others use a centralized trainer or training team to float across worksites. Web-based curricula on an intranet site are an important alternative to in-person training, also delivering standardized, easily accessed content to the whole organization.

Domestic and sexual violence training can inspire people to ask for help, so it is important to consider how to get hands-on help available to employees at the time of training. Partner with local domestic and sexual violence service providers near each worksite to have expert help available at the time of in-person training, or available by call during web-based training periods

Partner Organizations Futures Without Violence (formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund), Legal Momentum, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and its National Sexual Violence Resource Center, National Sexual Assault Coalition Resource Sharing Project (RSP) of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, American Bar Association Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence, Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, Victim Rights Law Center, and Stalking Resource Center: A Program of The National Center for Victims of Crime.

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Funding by US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women

This project was supported by Grant No. 2009-TA-AX-K028 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed on this site or in any materials on this site, are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.