Nobody knows more about the impact of partner violence on the workplace - and how businesses should address it.
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Workplace Statistics
Workplace homicides among u.s. Women: the role of intimate partner violence. (Tiesman HM, Gurka KK, Konda S, Coben JH, Amandus HE.) Between 2003 and 2008, 648 women were feloniously killed on the job. The leading cause of workplace homicide for U.S. women was criminal intent, such as robbing a store (n = 212; 39%), followed by homicides perpetrated by a personal relation (n = 181; 33%). The majority of these personal relations were intimate partners (n = 142; 78%). Over half of workplace homicides perpetrated by intimate partners occurred in parking lots and public buildings (n = 91; 51%). CONCLUSIONS: A large percentage of homicides occurring to women at work are perpetrated by intimate partners. WPV prevention programs should incorporate strategies to prevent and respond to IPV. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Safety Research, Analysis and Field Evaluations Branch, Morgantown, West Virginia. (April 2012)
A 2005 national telephone survey by the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence found that 21% of full-time employed adults were victims of domestic violence and 64% of them indicated their work performance was significantly impacted.
On September 25, 2007, CAEPV, Liz Claiborne and Safe Horizon released a groundbreaking survey on corporate executives and employee awareness of the impact of domestic violence in the workplace.

Surprisingly, the survey shows that a significant majority of corporate executives and their employees from the nation's largest companies recognize the harmful and extensive impact of domestic violence in the workplace, yet only 13% of corporate executives think their companies should address the problem.

The attitudes of executives differ dramatically from an overwhelming majority of employees (84%) who believe that corporations should be a part of the solution to addressing domestic violence.

Although nearly 2 in 3 corporate executives (63%) say that domestic violence is a major problem in our society and 55% cite its harmful impact on productivity in their companies, a majority of top executives have blinders on when it comes to seeing the reality of domestic violence victims working in their own companies.

(Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, September 2007)
The number of homicides dipped from 567 in 2005 to 516 in 2006, a 9 percent decrease, according to a report by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Workplace homicides have dropped by more than 50 percent since a high of 1,080 in 1994. In 2001, there were 643 workplace homicides, a total that excludes fatalities from the attacks of September 11, 2001. The 516 workplace homicides in 2006 was the lowest annual total ever reported in the bureau's Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Of the 516 workplace homicides last year, 417 were from a shooting and 38 were from a stabbing, according to the report. Overall, there were 5,703 fatal work injuries in the United States in 2006, down slightly from the revised total of 5,734 fatalities in 2005. The rate of fatal work injuries in 2006 was 3.9 per 100,000 workers, down from a rate of 4.0 per 100,000 in 2005.

(Source: US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics)
On June 7, 2007 Verizon Wireless released the results of the first-ever “Father’s Day” poll of 1,020 American men, and found broad support for employer-based efforts to address domestic violence.
  • 87% said employers should provide information for victims about how to get help
  • 83% said employers should have policies in place to assist victims in getting help, including job security if they take leave to get help
  • 77% said employers should provide training for supervisors/managers on supporting victims
  • 72% said employers should provide information/resources with guidance on talking to kids about violence-free relationships.
The poll also found that 61% of those surveyed thought employers should be doing more to address domestic violence.

For full results of the poll, visit http://aboutus.vzw.com/communityservice/pollresults.html
Researchers from the University of Arkansas found that women who were victims of recent domestic violence had 26 percent more time lost to tardiness and absenteeism than non-victims.

(Anne O’Leary Kelly and Carol Reeves, The Effects and Costs of Intimate Partner Violence for Work Organizations, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol. 22, No. 3, 327-344, 2007.)
Half of employers with 1,000 or more employees in the United States had an incident of workplace violence within the 12 months prior to completing a new survey on workplace violence prevention, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in The Survey of Workplace Violence Prevention, released October 27, 2006.

While 5 percent of all establishments, including state and local governments, had a violent incident, half of the largest establishments (employing 1,000 or more workers) reported an incident. In these largest establishments, the most prevalent type of incident was co-worker (34.1 percent), followed by a customer or client (28.3 percent), domestic violence (24.1 percent), and criminal (17.2 percent).

More than 28 percent of respondents with 250 to 999 employees said they had an incident of workplace violence in the last year.

Of all establishments reporting an incident of workplace violence in the previous 12 months, 21 percent reported that the incident affected the fear level of their employees and twenty-one percent indicated that the incident affected their employees' morale.

Over 70 percent of United States workplaces have no formal program or policy that addresses workplace violence.

(Source: The Survey of Workplace Violence Prevention, Bureau of Labor Statistics, October 2006)
Of the 30% of workplaces in the US that have some sort of formal workplace violence policy, only 44% have have a policy to address domestic violence in the workplace.

Only 4 percent of all establishments train employees on domestic violence and its impact on the workplace.

(Source: The Survey of Workplace Violence Prevention, Bureau of Labor Statistics, October 2006)
Between July and September 2005, CAEPV polled 1,200 full-time employed adults across the US in the first-ever national benchmarking telephone survey regarding domestic violence and its impact on the workplace. Among the major findings were that 66% of those surveyed indicated they were not aware of their employer having a workplace domestic violence policy, 44% of full-time employed adults surveyed personally experienced domestic violence's effect in their workplaces, and most remarkably, 21% of full-time employed adult respondents (men and women) identified themselves as victims of intimate partner violence.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of victims of domestic violence indicated that their ability to work was affected by the violence. Among key causes for their decline in productivity, victims noted "distraction" (57%); "fear of discovery" (45%); "harassment by intimate partner at work (either by phone or in person)" (40%); fear of intimate partner's unexpected visits" (34%); "inability to complete assignments on time" (24%); and "job loss" (21%).

Regarding co-workers as victims, 31% of respondents felt "strongly" to "somewhat obliged" to cover for a victim of domestic violence by performing his or her work or offering excuses for his or her absence, 27% reported "extremely frequently" to "somewhat frequently" having to do the victim's work, and 25% resented the victim because of the effect of their situation on the workplace. Finally, 38% of respondents were "extremely" to "somewhat concerned" for their own safety when they found out a co-worker was a victim of domestic violence.

For an in-depth analysis of this survey, request a copy of CAEPV's Special Edition Newsletter on the survey by e-mailing caepv@caepv.org.

(Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, October 2005)
According to the CDC, intimate partner violence victims lose a total of nearly 8.0 million days of paid work—the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs—and nearly 5.6 million days of household productivity as a result of the violence.

(Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States, US Centers for Disease Control. Report released April 28, 2003)
Homicide was the second leading cause of death on the job for women in 2003, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) system data. Fifteen percent (15%) of the 119 workplace homicides of women in that year were attributed to a current or former husband or boyfriend.

(There were a total of 444 workplace deaths of women in 2003 -- 31% were the result of highway incidents, 27% were homicides, and 9% were falls.)
On February 17, 2004 the Maine Department of Labor and Family Crisis Services released a study that found that employed partner violence offenders have a significant impact on their workplaces.

Among the findings were that:
  • Over 75% of offenders used workplace resources at least once to express remorse or anger, check up on, pressure, or threaten the victim
  • 74% of perpetrators had easy access to their intimate partner's workplace, with 21% of offenders reporting that they contacted her at the workplace in violation of a no contact order
  • 48% of offenders had difficulty concentrating at work, with 19% of offenders reporting a workplace accident or near miss from inattentiveness due to pre-occupation with their relationship
  • 42% of offenders were late to work
  • 70 domestic abuse offenders lost 15,221 hours of work time due to their domestic abuse arrests. At Maine's average hourly wage, this equals approximately $200,000
  • 68% of offenders said that domestic abuse posters and brochures in the workplace would help prevent domestic abuse from impacting the business.
(Source: Maine Department of Labor and Family Crisis Services study released February 17, 2004.)
The annual cost of lost productivity due to domestic violence is estimated as $727.8 million with over 7.9 million paid workdays lost per year.

(Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States, 2003. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. )
In the fall of 2002, Liz Claiborne Inc. released their 2nd Corporate Leader Survey regarding domestic violence, benchmarking the results of their 1994 survey.

The 2002 survey found that 66% of corporate leaders say domestic violence is a major problem in today's society. This compares to 57% who thought so in 1994. Significantly more corporate leaders in 2002 than in 1994 said they were aware of employees within their organization affected by domestic violence -- 56% in 2002 versus 40% in 1994. Significantly more also indicated someone close to them has been involved in domestic violence -- 45% in 2002 versus 24% in 1994.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) said a company's financial performance would benefit if domestic violence were addressed among its employees. Fifty percent (50%) reported that domestic violence has had a harmful effect on their own organization's insurance and medical costs and one-third (32%) said their company's bottom line performance has been damaged. A full 91% believe that domestic violence affects both the private lives AND the working lives of their employees. Many report that domestic violence has had a harmful effect on their own organization's staff, specifically on their psychological well-being (60%), their physical safety (52%), their productivity (48%) and their attendance (42%). Eighty-five percent (85%)think corporations are responsible for the general well-being of their employees and two-thirds (67%) believe domestic violence is serious enough to warrant their attention.

However, just 12% think that corporations should play a major role in addressing the issue. Most think that is the responsibility of the family, social service organizations, and the police. Along these lines, 78% said they offer domestic violence counseling or assistance to their employees. Emergency counseling services, referrals to other organizations that deal specifically with domestic violence, and employee benefits that cover the costs of help were the most common forms of assistance being offered.
In 2001, Employers Against Domestic Violence (Boston, MA) conducted focus groups with convicted male domestic violence offenders, and asked them about the impact their behavior had on their workplaces.

They found that abusers made costly and dangerous mistakes on the job as a result of perpetrating domestic violence, most abusers used company phones, e-mail, and vehicles in order to perpetrate domestic abuse, most abusers used paid work time in order to attend court for matters relating to their perpetration of domestic violence, most employers expressed support for the abuser (but few expressed concern for the victim), and 10% of employers posted bail for abusers or granted them paid leaves of absence for court dates related to domestic violence.
United Kingdom -- Time off work due to injuries caused by domestic violence costs employers and workers nearly £3 billion a year (5.4 billion US dollars*). Approximately half the costs of such absence is borne by the employer, and half by the individual in lost wages.

(Walby, S. "The Cost of Domestic Violence" released September 1, 2004. Research funded by the DTI Women and Equality Unit. University of Leeds, United Kingdom.)
*Conversion done at CAEPV based on 9/1/04 exchange rates
The health-related costs of rape, physical assault, stalking, and homicide by intimate partners exceed $5.8 billion each year. Of this total, nearly $4.1 billion are for direct medical and mental health care services and productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

(Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States, US Centers for Disease Control. Report released April 28, 2003)
More than 5,000 cases of workplace violence are reported every day in the United States.

(Source: "Top Security Threats and Management Issues Facing Corporate America." Report by Pinkerton Security, February 2003.)
In their report entitled "Terror Nine to Five: Guns in the American Workplace 1994 - 2003," the organization Handgun Free America found that in the past decade (1994 - 2003) there were 164 workplace shootings in America with a total of 290 people killed and an additional 161 people injured. The group also found that at least 13.4 % of the incidents reviewed involved the shooting of a current or former intimate partner.

(Source: "Terror Nine to Five: Guns in the American Workplace 1994 - 2003," frpm Handgun Free America Website, accessed 5-18-04.)
The total costs associated with workplace violence are estimated at $36 billion annually and affects over two million Americans every year, according to the study called "Top Security Threats and Management Issues Facing Corporate America."

(Source: Pinkerton Security, February 2003)
In 2002, workplace fatalities fell by 6.6 percent in 2002 to the lowest level ever recorded since the survey was first completed in 1992. There were 5,524 fatal work injuries recorded in 2002 (the 2001 national numbers showed 5,915 fatal work injuries, excluding the tragic toll of the 2,885 work-related fatalities from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks). Homicides were the third leading cause of death at the workplace with 609 workplace homicides. For more information by industry, occupation, exposure and other measures, visit http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm#2002.

(US Department of Labor, report released 9/17/2003.)
A small study released in 2002 found that 18 of 21 domestic abuse victims who work for Partners HealthCare (Massachusetts) said that the abuse they suffered affected their work performance. Nineteen of the 21 women surveyed in the study said services through the EAP program made them feel safer. Eighteen said getting help at work improved their functioning ability. Thirteen said it improved their relationship with their supervisor.

(Study conducted at Newton-Wellesley by the Partners Employee Assistance Program with help from Mass General Hospital in Boston and the Harvard School of Public Health)
In 2001, a total of 8,786 people died at work -- of those, 2,886 were related to the attacks of 9/11/02. Excluding the victims of attacks, the overall workplace death count was 5,900, which would have been the third-straight annual drop. In 2000, there were 5,920 people killed on the job. Work-related homicides fell to the lowest level since 1992, to 639. Homicides among technical, sales, and administrative support workers decreased, though homicides increased sharply among workers in service occupations, which include police and detectives, food preparation workers, barbers, and hairdressers.

(US Department of Labor)
Males victimized at work report the crime to the police about 50 percent of the time, whereas females victimized at work report about 40 percent of the time. Rape and sexual assault were reported about 24 percent of the time to the police.

(Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) December 2001. Violence in the Workplace, 1993-99. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)
Of the approximately 1.7 million incidents of workplace violence that occur in the US every year, approximately 18,700 (1.1 percent) are committed by an intimate: current or former spouse, lover, partner, or boyfriend/girlfriend.

(Detis T. Duhart, Ph.D. BJS Statistician. U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, Violence in the Workplace, 1993-99. December 2001, NCJ-190076.)
37% of women involved in partner violence have felt its effects on the workplace—reflected in lateness, missed work, difficulty keeping a job, and difficulty advancing in their careers.

(Results of EDK National Telephone Poll, September 1997)
A survey of EAP providers found that a large majority of them dealt with specific partner abuse situations in the past year, including an employee with a restraining order (83%) or an employee being stalked at work by a current or former partner (71%).

(Harvard University School of Public Health, 1997:30)
94% of corporate security directors rank partner violence as a high security problem.

(National Safe Workplace Institute survey, as cited in "Talking Frankly About Domestic Violence," Personnel Journal, April, 1995, page 64. NOTE: The National Safe Workplace Institute is now called the National Institute for School and Workplace Safety.)
78% of human resources professionals consider partner violence a workplace issue.

(National Safe Workplace Institute survey, as cited in "Talking Frankly About Domestic Violence," Personnel Journal, April, 1995, page 64. NOTE: The National Safe Workplace Institute is now called the National Institute for School and Workplace Safety.)
56% of battered women arrive an hour late for work 5 times a month.

(Report on Costs of Domestic Violence, Victim Services of New York, 1987)
74% of victims are harassed at work by their abuser.

(Report on Costs of Domestic Violence, Victim Services of New York, 1987)
It is estimated that 25% of workplace problems such as absenteeism, lower productivity, turnover and excessive use of medical benefits are due to family violence.

(Employee Assistance Providers/MN)
An estimated 24–30% of abused working women lose their jobs due to their domestic violence situation.

(“Prisoners of Abuse,” The Taylor Institute)

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