Training for employers on domestic violence

Posted by on November 17, 2008

In response to the issues facing companies whose employees are victims of domestic violence, as well as the large number of victims who reported issues related to maintaining employment in the midst of domestic violence, in 2006 Lutheran Settlement House designed and began providing a specialized training to Philadelphia’s employers on addressing the effects of domestic violence on the workplace. Since that time, we have trained close to 500 supervisors, managers, and employees about the impact of domestic violence on the workplace and best practices for addressing this issue. Among others, we have trained all of the supervisors and managers of Philadelphia’s Community Behavioral Health System and Liberty Resources, as well as staff from the Department of Public Health, the Department of Human Services, and Philadelphia’s Coalition of Mental Health/Mental Retardation Centers. In our trainings it is common for multiple participants to disclose that they have either dealt with an employee struggling with domestic violence or have experienced domestic violence themselves.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication found in a public opinion survey that 76% of Philadelphians believe employers should play a role in helping to stop domestic violence. Anecdotal evidence shows us that when employers support employees who are experiencing domestic violence this increases morale and loyalty in the workplace. It has also been shown that firing victims due to domestic violence situations prevents disclosure from other employees and co-workers, which increases the danger of violence spilling into the workplace. Our trainings are meant to help employers understand how to manage domestic violence cases before they explode, and to understand the importance of developing and implementing policies which provide support for employees who may be victims of domestic violence.

For more information about LSH’s domestic violence training for employers, please contact Ana Lisa Yoder, Director of the Bilingual Domestic Violence Program, at 215-426-8610, ext. 231

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