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Resources for Workplaces

Despite its name, domestic violence doesn’t remain in the home. When a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence comes to work, the effects are far-reaching. Below are resources specifically designed to address domestic violence in the workplace.

Making Your Workplace Safe

Safe Haven Works is a program of Safe Haven Ministries designed to help local employers understand how to address domestic violence in their workplaces. We offer resources that will help employers support their staff and reduce their risks and liability. Below are some of the ways this program can help make your workplace a safe environment.

  1. Lunch and Learn: In one hour, learn how to recognize, respond, and refer in cases of domestic violence in the workplace. Leave with resources and materials to use in your workplace (suitable for managers, human resources professionals, and supervisors).
  2. Domestic Violence Policies and Procedures: Safe Haven can help provide you with well-researched policies and resources to assist you in your own process of creating a workplace domestic violence policy. Our staff can also help you create safety and risk-reduction plans in the case of violence. 
  3. Individual Training: Safe Haven tailors trainings for supervisors, managers, and groups of employees based on the needs and goals of your workplace safety programs.
  4. Outreach and Awareness Materials: From bathroom flyers to program services brochures—simply reach out and we will get you resources to provide to an employee who is experiencing domestic violence.

What Is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic violence is a pattern of learned behavior that one person uses to control a partner in an intimate relationship. Abuse can affect anyone regardless of the person’s culture, race, ethnicity, age, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or socio-economic background.

1 in 5 full-time employed adults report they were victims of domestic violence.

Each times a woman is assaulted by her partner and survives that attack, she misses an average of 7 days of work and requires $816 of medical and mental health care.

Workplace Safety Plan

A workplace safety plan will not eliminate the chance of violence, but it will reduce the risk of severe workplace violence. Below are some steps to take if someone in your workplace is experiencing domestic violence:

  • Offer the employee a workspace that is not visible or easily accessible to visitors.
  • Provide a well-lit parking spot near the building entrance with a security escort, if possible.
  • Request a recent photo of the abuser to provide to security and reception.
  • Screen telephone calls, change the employee’s telephone number, and/or remove the employee’s name from automated messages or directories to prevent harassment by the perpetrator.
  • Offer a less predictable and flexible schedule. It may help the employee to make an appointment with a domestic violence agency during work hours, to avoid arousing the perpetrator’s suspicion.
  • Establish an emergency contact if the employee doesn’t show up for work or is unreachable.
  • Ensure the employee carries a cell phone with 911 pre-programmed.
  • Designate a code word for the employee to use if he or she feels in danger.

Red Flags of Abuse – For a Victim

Victims of domestic abuse may:

  • have repeated unexplainable injuries
  • exhibit changes in their physical appearance (i.e. wear inappropriate clothes for the season and unusually heavy makeup)
  • show signs of being frightened and/or anxious
  • exhibit changes in job performance
  • regularly be late to work or have regular unexplained absences
  • receive an unusual number of phone calls or texts from family members
  • mention troubles at home or feel uncomfortable talking about home life

Red Flags of Abuse – Perpetrators of Abuse

Some perpetrators of domestic violence exhibit exemplary job performance. Other may:

  • steal or damage company property
  • have frequent angry outbursts or temper tantrums
  • be belligerent with supervisors and co-workers
  • display threatening or intimidating behavior
  • call or text a current or former partner excessively
  • deny problems

Where to Get Help

Calling a hotline can be a scary thing for someone who is experiencing violence. Offer to sit with the person as they make the call. It is also important to remind them that making the call does not have to mean that they have made the decision to leave an abuser; someone can call a hotline to learn more about resources available to them.

Domestic Abuse Providers in Kent County, MI

Safe Haven Ministries:  616-452-6664

YWCA West Central Michigan: 616-451-2744