What is Domestic Violence?

What is Domestic Violence?
• Domestic violence is the use of physical,
sexual, and/or psychological coercion to
establish and maintain control over a family
or a household member.
• Domestic violence affects the workplace
when an abuser harasses an employee who
is on the job, when a victim is absent because
of injuries or less productive due to stress, or
when violence occurs at the workplace.
Possible Indicators of
Domestic Violence
• Bruises, cuts, burns, and fractures – especially
injuries of the eyes, nose, teeth, and jaw.
• Bruises that are unexplained or come with
explanations that do not add up.
• Injuries that go untreated or are in different
stages of healing.
• Anxiety-related conditions (feelings of panic).
• Depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, or
alcohol/drug problems.
Indicators, Continued…
• Stress-related physical ailments
(i.e. headaches, problems with sleeping, or low
• Inappropriate clothing or accessory, possibly
worn to cover up signs of injury.
• Attendance problems, difficulty concentrating,
or problems meeting deadlines.
• Repeated upsetting telephone calls at work.
• Withdrawal from co-workers.
Abusers’ Impact on the Workplace
• Making physical or sexual assaults or threats
against the victim, children, or co-workers (i.e.
threaten to take the children away or destroy
property; threats of suicide).
• Making the victim account for every minute of
the day (i.e. the abuser drops off and picks up
the victim from work).
• Making the victim late for work or sabotaging
job performance (i.e. by keeping the victim up
all night or destroying work clothes).
• Controlling the victim’s use of personal, sick
or vacation time.
Abusers’ Impact on the Workplace,
• Sabotaging the victim’s efforts to attend
medical or counseling appointments by not
providing childcare or transportation.
• Isolating the victim from co-workers, friends,
and family so there is no support system
other than the abuser.
• The abuser stalks the victim or makes
frequent telephone calls or emails to monitor
Common Barriers to Asking
about Domestic Violence
• Denial: Assuming that the question does not
need to be asked because domestic violence
does not happen that often…
• Pessimism: Assuming that it won’t help to
• Personal Feelings: Feeling uncomfortable
because the subject brings up your own
personal issues…
Common Barriers, Continued...
• Lack of Knowledge: Feeling uncomfortable
because you are not familiar with the
dynamics of domestic violence or the
available resources…
• Powerlessness and Isolation: Not knowing
how to help once someone discloses that
they are experiencing problems or feeling like
you are the only one who knows or cares…
Why Managers Should Take Action
• Domestic Violence affects many employees.
• It is a security and liability concern as well as
a health care concern.
• Domestic Violence is a management issue as
it affects both the private and working lives of
• Domestic Violence is a performance and
productivity concern.
• Taking action in response to domestic
violence works and managers can make a
Appropriate Response to
Workplace Violence
• Be aware of the indicators of domestic violence.
• If an employee or co-workers approach you
about domestic violence, talk to the employee in
a confidential setting.
• Express concern and listen without judging;
offer help and information.
• Support the victim’s decisions and maintain
• Express concern for the victim’s safety;
encourage the employee to talk to domestic
violence counselors who can listen and
Appropriate Response Continued…
• Post information about domestic violence in
your work area and have information
available where employees can retrieve it
• As a supervisor, adjust the employee’s work
schedule as considered necessary or
reasonable or consider transfer of the
employee to another work area for her safety.
• Refer the employee to the UNC Hospitals
Beacon Child & Family Program, Employee
Relations, or to the Employee Assistance
Program (EAP) for further counseling and
When to Report to Hospital Police
• It is hospital policy that if there is a potential
of violence, if the victim has a valid Domestic
Violence Protective Order (DVPO), or ex
parte order, it is mandatory for the supervisor
to report to Hospital Police. They will keep the
order on file.
• Hospital Police can assist the victim in safety
UNCHCS Employee Relations and
Employee Assistance Program
• Employee Relations is available to assist
employees who are experiencing domestic
violence. Their phone number is 966-2262.
• The Employee Assistance Program is
available to any employee who is
experiencing problems which affect their work
performance or well-being. Their contact
number is 929-2362.
UNC Hospitals Beacon Program
• Beacon Child & Family Program is available
24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact
– Phone number is 966-9314
– Pager is 1-888-378-0551
• The Beacon Program Social Workers provide
counseling and education to employees who
are victims of domestic violence.
• They will assist the victim with developing
alternatives and referring to other agencies
that can provide ongoing support and legal