October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and sadly, statistics indicate that about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience domestic violence at some point in their lives. Based on these numbers, there’s a good chance someone in your organization has dealt with or is dealing with this in their life.
Domestic abuse is not limited to physical abuse and often isn’t obvious to outsiders. Various forms can include: Emotional and Verbal Abuse, Physical Abuse, Economic and Financial Abuse, Digital Abuse and Sexual Abuse. Even when physically abused, abusers sometimes take care not to let the abuse show to others. With the pandemic and some individuals receiving limited outside contact, the National Domestic Violence Hotline showed the highest volume of contacts in 2022 ever received. In the latest report issued, Texas ranked 2nd in terms of contact volume to the hotline.
Employees dealing with domestic violence may have higher absenteeism, lack of focus, issues with housing, and/or substance abuse issues among other concerns. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, victims of violence lose a total of 8 million days of paid work each year and between 21-60% of victims lose their jobs due to reasons related to the abuse.
This year’s awareness campaign is focused on ending coercive control, encouraging everyone to raise awareness and make a difference. October 19 is designated as “Purple Thursday” where everyone is encouraged to wear purple to show support for those who’ve experienced or are experiencing domestic violence.
Provide information to your staff as to resources they can use if they are affected by domestic violence. Post information where they can see it and send out reminders to staff about the availability of help.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-799-7233 (1-800-799 SAFE) or www.thehotline.org. Individuals can also text LOVEIS to 22522. The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence is www.nrcdv.org. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence is www.ncadv.org. There are often local resources available, too, that would be good to make available to staff.
Let’s do what we can to help our employees find the resources they need. It’s the right thing to do.