NO MORE Week is the perfect time to remind everyone in our communities about the role they can play in preventing domestic violence and sexual assault. For the last eight years, Southwest PA Says NO MORE has hosted a breakfast for corporate and community leaders to talk about steps they can take to address domestic violence as it affects their workplace and workforce.
Why corporate leaders? A 2018 national survey of domestic violence survivors found that more than 80% of victims report that the abuse affected their ability to do their job. Among those who reported work disruptions, 49% had missed one or more days of work and 53% said they lost their job because of the abuse. Co-workers are often aware that something is wrong; they may try to help or to cover for a colleague who is scared or distracted. And if an abusive partner comes to the workplace to confront their victim, it can quickly become a safety issue for bystanders, including colleagues and customers. For all these reasons and more, if someone is being abused at home, it comes to work with them. And the prevalence of domestic violence means that all workplaces experience the effects.
Every year during NO MORE Week, Southwest PA Says NO MORE focuses on educating employers to Recognize the signs of domestic violence, be prepared to Respond to employees who are unsafe, and Refer them to community resources for assistance and support. This breakfast is a joint effort of United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, FISA Foundation, and STANDING FIRM: The Business Case to End Partner Violence. STANDING FIRM is a national program that empowers employers to address the workforce impacts of domestic violence through training, resources, and policy assistance.
It’s been so gratifying to see our corporate community embrace this issue, by implementing training programs, upgrading policies, sponsoring programs, and speaking out against domestic violence through our annual Father’s Day Pledge.