Domestic Violence in the Workplace

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Domestic violence is a pattern of intentional abusive behavior used to maintain power and control over his/her partner by using physical violence, emotional and verbal abuse, isolation along with threats and intimidation. This abusive behavior affects everyone who is around the victim in the workplace. The University of Arkansas researchers showed that 20% of threats and 72% of stalking incidents occur at work, potentially putting other employees, and even customers at risk ( Klien, 2005) Domestic violence usually begins in the home but it can and does spill over into the workplace creating a concern for both the victim and co-workers safety along with affecting productivity, health care costs, absenteeism and employee turnover. In the past because domestic violence happened in the home it was considered a personal problem rather than a workplace issue. This harmful and unwanted behavior is all about control. Once the victim is at work it gives them indepence and they are not under the immediate control of the perpetrator.

In the workplace, violence affects victims’ performance on the job. It will affect it in the form of tardiness, absenteeism, (poor) job performance and mistakes on the job by the victim/abuser. According to the American Institute of domestic violence, of the approximately 1.7 million incidents of workplace violence that occur in the United States every year.(2001) As many as 50% of domestic violence victims have lost a job due, a least in part to the domestic violence 37% of women victims of the domestic violence reported feeling the affects of the abuse in the workplace reflecting in lateness, missed work, difficulty keeping a job and difficulty advancing in their careers. (EDK National telephone Poll, 1997 A survey for the Liz Claiborne Company.)
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