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.