Workplace Violence

How domestic violence turns into workplace (and what you can do about it).

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All workplaces are at risk of domestic violence spilling over and becoming workplace violence.That’s right.

If you have a workplace where people and workers are present, then you have a level of risk. It may not be a high risk, but you need to accept that you have a risk and put plans in place because of it.

The statistics about domestic violence are staggering. One in four women – 25% – report at some point in their lives they were a victim of domestic violence. About 7 percent of men report the same.


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But why is this a risk in your workplace?

Workplace violence can be committed by someone who has domestic violence motivation. The target of the abuser’s control and violence may have obtained a protection order or moved away. The assailant doesn’t know where the former partner lives. But guess what he does know? He knows where she works.

At any time, domestic violence may explode into your workplace because the spouse or significant other of an abuser is employed by you. There may be no warning at all. It can happen in the parking lot, lobby, in a teacher’s classroom, a warehouse –anywhere the abuser can reach (or try to reach) the victim.

The strategy to reduce risk is to educate our employees. They must know that if they’re victims of domestic violence, we have confidential employee assistance programs that can help them. Workers need to understand it’s critical to let employers know about volatility at home so we can not only assist them, but also take steps to protect our entire workplace from a potentially violent intruder.

Vaughn Baker

Vaughn Baker is president of Strategos International, a Kansas City, Mo., -based firm that provides security training, consulting and executive protection services. Baker has 20 years of experience in law enforcement including patrol, investigation, SWAT and special operations. He has trained thousands of school, health care, government, law enforcement and military personnel in security practices. Baker has also developed a specialized intruder response curriculum for schools and churches, including some of the nation’s leading training on behavior pattern recognition.

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