On Thursday, October 25th I went to an event at the Kroc Center in Greenville, South Carolina called “When Domestic Violence Goes to Work”. The speaker for the event was Mr. Steve Romano who is an expert trainer in crisis management. He has 39 years in law enforcement and security. He retired from the FBI in July 2004 and joined Control Risks as Vice President for Crisis and Security Management. He explained to the group that in the mind of an abuser whose partner has left him is this, “I don’t know where you live but I know where you work”.
I also learned that South Carolina is #2 in the United States for husband’s (men) who killed their wives (partners), Nevada is #1.
- 1 in 4 women are affected by domestic violence in the workplace.
- Every 18 months we lose the same number of people to domestic violence as we did in the attacks of 9/11.
- South Carolina Attorney General identified domestic violence as SC #1 problem.
We must look for indicators of domestic violence in the workplace like, reduction in productivity, increase absence, unexplained bruises and injuries, increase startled response and changes in personality. Companies have to look to develop threat assessment management – Awareness + Action = Prevention.
Companies need to document all threats and assess the situation. Remember if you see something, say something. Workplace violence is everyone’s job. When the abuser comes to the workplace, not just the victim is in danger for their lives. Awareness, recognition and response will go a long way to decrease the impact of domestic violence on the workplace and the community. October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, but we have to work to prevent this violence all year long.
Because this is a month to bring awareness and attention to domestic violence, I felt this was a great opportunity to educate everyone on what domestic violence is and what we can do to stop it. I will be doing a six part series during the month of October. The series will start off with defining domestic violence showing how to identify if you are in an abusive relationship and also how to detect when family members and friends are experiencing domestic violence in their homes. This will be followed by domestic violence laws. This will include domestic violence laws concerning assault, rape and protective orders. The next post will talk about community steps towards prevention of domestic violence.
This will be followed by organizations that help domestic violence victims and how you can contact them. The next post will be about recognizing domestic violence in the workplace and the last post for the month is about how you can help organizations that help domestic violence victims in your community. Please make a point to do something to help any woman being abused that you know, especially this month. You can give them information about shelters and organizations that will help. You can also make donations to organizations in your community that help domestic violence victims, whether monetary or material things needed to run their facilities. Remember, you are not just helping the lives of women but the lives of children as well.
Congress will soon be going on a break in August and the House of Representatives are deciding which bills they will pass before they leave. One of the bills up for reauthorization is the “Violence Against Women Act”, the landmark 1994 law that strengthened the nation’s efforts against domestic violence, sexual assaults and stalking. In May, fifteen Republican Senators joined with Democratic Senators to approve a strong reauthorization bill. Instead of supporting their Senators hard work the House Republicans pushed to pass their own watered down version, ignoring President Obama’s veto threat. Unless change happens, the Republicans will be responsible for blocking the renewal of a popular lifesaving bill.
Ladies, I think it is time we vote for the issues that affect women and not a person or a party. Whether you are Democrat or Republican, we have to show these politicians that if they want our vote they need to take women’s issues very seriously. The negotiations on the final bill are in limbo and it is time to speak out. I say if these candidates and politicians want my vote, this is surely not the way to do it. As we go into the fall campaign season with elections just around the corner, does it seem like these politicians value our vote? Do they want our vote or does it seem like we are a low priority on their list of agendas? Let’s let them know what we think by raising our voices and voting the issues at the polls.