Why Is Gender-Based Violence a Workplace Issue?

Domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking – no matter where it occurs – can make workplaces less safe and productive.

Domestic Violence can enter the workplace no matter where it occurs.

Domestic Violence becomes a workplace safety issue when an employee, or anyone with a familial or intimate relationship with an employee, engages in violent or threatening behavior designed to control or harm the person they’re targeting. Domestic violence usually involves people with a pre-existing personal relationship, whether as family members, spouses, dating partners, or persons with a child in common.

Sexual Violence ranges from harassing comments to rape.

Sexual Violence becomes a workplace threat when anyone who comes in contact with the workplace engages in sexually harassing or criminal acts.  Sexual violence can be committed by someone known or unknown to the victim: a family member, dating partner, co-worker, supervisor, security guard, customer/client, member of the public on company property, or a stranger. Crimes of sexual violence are defined differently in every state, but include rape, incest, sexual touching, threats, sexual harassment, assaults, and batteries.

Stalking is a tactic used to control, track, and frighten.

Stalking often co-occurs with domestic violence or sexual violence. A stalker can be known or unknown to the victim, and be a co-worker or client, a family member or intimate partner, an acquaintance or a stranger.  The threat posed to the victim and the workplace will depend upon the perpetrator and their actions.