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June is Workplace Safety Month

June 13, 2014

June 13, 2014 – While many of us may not have the ability to change policy and procedures at our place of employment, we can each play a critical role in making our work environment safer. This month, Workplace Safety Month, may give you just the opening you need.

Statistically speaking, one out of every four women has dealt with intimate partner violence at some point in her lifetime. Domestic violence does not end at a survivor’s front door, but rather often spreads to all aspects of survivors’ lives, including their place of employment. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women are much more likely than men to be victims of on-the-job intimate partner homicide. Current or former intimate partners were responsible for the on-the-job deaths of 321 women and 38 men from 1997 to 2009.

You don’t need to have a degree in social work to help those around you. Often just simple, supportive statements like, “I’m worried about you” and “If you ever need me, I’m here” can make all the difference in a victim’s life. Although it may be difficult for many to understand why survivors stay with abusive partners, the reality is that leaving is often the most dangerous time for a victim and if we don’t do our part to create a safe space to talk about domestic violence, she or he may never reach out for help.

Use Workplace Safety Month as an opportunity to talk to your employer about all aspects of workplace safety. There are excellent resources and model policies for employers of all sizes freely available. Contact your local domestic violence program or state coalition to learn more about local resources.

We all have a job to do in ending domestic violence. This month is the perfect time to start.