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 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
- Distributed in lunchrooms, meeting areas and washrooms
- Available through Human Resources, Employee Services, 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, you 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 andd safety trainings, basic manager training and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) orientations.
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 violence service providers are often happy to provide domestic 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 violence service providers can act as an ongoing resource for your organization, consulting with managers about how to refer abused employees for services or about how to understand the effects of abuse on employees. Establishing an ongoing relationship with a local provider means having an expert partner on call when the complicated needs triggered by domestic violence situations arise.
Suggestions for Larger Employers
For larger employers, an important concern is how to deliver a standardized message across multiple sites, in various geographic locations and environments. To centralize the process, develop and put out a standardized curriculum built on your policies. As the needs of each worksite may differ somewhat, also have ways of adapting the materials.
Some employers 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 curriculums on an intranet site are an important alternative to in-person training, also delivering standardized, easily accessed content to the whole organization.
Domestic 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 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