Since nearly 1 in 4 women in the U.S. experience domestic violence, workplaces of all sizes, labor unions, and worker centers are uniquely positioned to:
- Spread the word about the prevalence and workplace impacts of domestic violence, sexual violence (including sexual harassment and assault), and stalking, whether it occurs at home or on the job.
- Connect victims, survivors, and upstanders to assistance and resources.
Step One: Connect and Partner With Local Domestic and Sexual Violence Experts
Community domestic and sexual violence service providers offer immediate access to experts and targeted information about local resources. Community providers can serve as co-trainers who may present specialized content specific to the domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking, and may be available to talk to employees who come forward with questions. Click here to find a service provider in your area.
Step Two: Adopt a Policy, Spread the Word, and Conduct Trainings
Regardless of the number of employees or members, all employers, labor unions, and worker centers should consider the following ways to educate workers about the prevalence and impacts of domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking, including:
- Adopting a Workplace Policy on Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, and Stalking and including the policy and resources in employee handbooks and other policy materials
- Trainings or Workshops (In-Person, Web-Based, Video-Conferencing, Satellite) Website, Newsletter, and E-Mail Articles and Features
- Printed and Electronic Resource/Referral Lists
- Posters, Brochures, and Safety Cards (Distributed or Posted)
- Health fairs, safety days, special commemorations, or similar annual events
Workplaces Respond provides technical assistance in developing policies, trainings, and materials.
Step Three: Tailor Approaches to Size of Workplace
In order to lower costs, small employers might consider partnering with a consortium of several small employers, perhaps through a local chamber of commerce, to plan joint training events. Partnerships are useful for sharing expenses, such as bringing in a security expert to discuss safety planning.
Partnerships are also a convenient way to establish ongoing relationships with local domestic and sexual violence service providers, who are often happy to provide violence awareness trainings at community events at low or no cost. Ongoing relationships with service providers also lay the foundation for rapid referral of victims and survivors or quick consultations when unique workplace situations arise.
In order to deliver standardized information across multiple sites and in various geographic locations and environments, larger employers tend to benefit from standardized policy-based curricula designed to be adaptable to the needs of different types of worksites.
A “Train the Trainer” model prepares internal trainers to conduct worksite training within regions, while more centralized trainers or training teams float across regions. Web-based curricula on an intranet site is also a convenient alternative.
Since domestic and sexual violence training topics often prompt requests for immediate assistance, standardized training models must take into consideration how to immediately and properly refer employees at the time of training. This is another benefit of partnering with local domestic and sexual violence service providers located near each worksite so that expert help may be available at the time of in-person training, or available by call during web-based and other training periods.