Domestic violence is a problem, and it isn’t a private matter. In the United States, an average of 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner. That’s over 12 million women and men per year.
Domestic Violence Doesn’t Stay at Home
Why does this matter in the workplace? The damage caused by domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence) isn’t something that stays at home, even if that’s where the violence typically occurs. Domestic violence isn’t only horrific — it’s costly. According to the CDC, severe intimate partner violence causes victims to lose a total of 8 million days of paid work per year — equal to over 32,000 full-time jobs — and almost 5.6 million days of household productivity. Increased healthcare costs for victims can persist for 15 years after escaping abuse.
In many cases, employers, managers, and co-workers are reluctant to approach employees who may be victims of intimate partner abuse because they feel it is a private matter. Unfortunately, this aura of secrecy around domestic violence actually feeds right into the effects of isolation that perpetrators create around their partner.
Respect is the Answer—At Home and At Work
Everyone believes they should be treated with respect. Intimate partner violence is a complicated issue, but lack of, or warped sense of, dignity and respect play a part in this deeply unfortunate problem.
Taking the step to address domestic violence requires us to believe that every person is fundamentally worthy of their humanity, personhood, and safety. As a leader or fellow employee, you do not necessarily need to have the answers—just the willingness to talk through options, help find resources, make phone calls on the victim’s behalf, and provide an empathetic presence.
Whatever our role, each of us can take the first step of treating others with the respect they deserve—at home, in our workplaces, and in our communities.
- CHAMPION violence prevention by turning your words into good deeds. Get involved!
- ADVOCATE for violence prevention. Learn the facts and speak up!
- DONATE your time, money, or goods to the cause of violence prevention. Volunteer, attend, or support national or local efforts. Make it count!
Do Your Part
For more information and statistics on domestic violence, consider downloading our printable fact sheet. Store the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) in your phone and download the RUSafe app to help users identify potentially dangerous situations and hotlines in your area. We can all do our part to Stop the Violence — change happens when ALL of us spread awareness and stay prepared to help each other. Dignity and respect can make all the difference, and it starts with you.