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HOW TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS A SAFE/SPACE/WORK/PLACE

HOW TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS A SAFE/SPACE/WORK/PLACE

HOW TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS A SAFE/SPACE/WORK/PLACE

HOW TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS A SAFE/SPACE/WORK/PLACE

Family and domestic violence (FDV) is a deeply personal issue that, unfortunately, often spills into the workplace. It’s crucial to recognize that workplaces can become safer spaces for victims and survivors, and as a manager, you have the power to support those affected by FDV within your team and organization.

Understanding the Impact of FDV in the Workplace

FDV trauma can manifest in various ways in the workplace. While there’s no single pattern, being aware of potential signs is essential. Some indicators to watch for include:

  1. Unexplained Injuries: Victims of FDV may exhibit frequent, unexplained bruises or injuries. These physical signs can be a cry for help, so it’s essential not to overlook them.
  2. Last-Minute Absenteeism: Survivors may suddenly request time off without providing a clear reason. These last-minute absences can be attributed to the need to address urgent domestic issues.
  3. Aggressive or Abusive Behavior: In virtual meetings or daily interactions, listen for aggressive or abusive comments in the background. These subtle cues may hint at distress at home.

Knowing Your Legal Obligations

Educating yourself about the legal rights and protections afforded to victims of FDV is crucial. This knowledge empowers you to offer appropriate support to team members who may confide in you. Legal obligations may include providing flexible work arrangements, accommodating court appearances, and maintaining confidentiality.

Advocating for Workplace Awareness

If your organization lacks robust policies for addressing FDV in the workplace, take the initiative to raise awareness.

Here’s how you can advocate for change:

  1. Talk to Your Manager: Initiate a conversation with your manager about the need for comprehensive FDV policies. Share your concerns and insights, highlighting the positive impact it can have on the company culture.
  2. Engage HR: Collaborate with your Human Resources department to develop and implement FDV-sensitive policies and resources. HR can also provide guidance on best practices for supporting affected employees.
  3. Leverage Leadership Support: Gain the support of your boss and other influential leaders in your company. Their endorsement can carry significant weight and help drive meaningful change.

Reducing the Stigma Surrounding FDV

One of the most significant barriers to addressing FDV is the stigma associated with it.

To create a safer and more supportive workplace, consider these steps:

  1. Psychologically Safe Culture: Foster a psychologically safe team culture where every member feels comfortable sharing their experiences without fear of reprimand or judgment.
  2. Education and Awareness: Conduct training sessions or workshops to raise awareness about FDV among your team members. Knowledge helps destigmatize the issue.
  3. Open Communication: Encourage open and empathetic communication. Make it clear that your team is a safe space where people can disclose their experiences or seek help without facing negative consequences.

Domestic violence is not just a private matter; it’s a workplace issue that demands our attention. As a manager, you can play a pivotal role in supporting victims and survivors within your team and organization. By understanding the signs, knowing your legal obligations, advocating for change, and reducing the stigma surrounding FDV, you can help create a workplace that truly cares for its members and addresses this critical societal problem.