Symptoms of Domestic Violence at Work

Recently, many employers have begun to pay more attention to the possibility of domestic violence occurring to their employees. Often times, for individuals who are victims of domestic violence, the workplace is the only escape. When employers provide support for domestic violence situations, it can inspire the victim to get out and find safety.

How to Identify Domestic Violence in the Workplace

While it can be difficult to identify or notice domestic violence in the workplace, there are several signs a person can use as a guide for this purpose. An individual who is a victim of domestic violence may display one or more of the following signs:

  • Coming to work with strange injuries – such as bruises, fractures, sprains, etc.
  • Suddenly withdrawing and avoiding interaction with co-workers or superiors.
  • Showing out of context emotions at work, including seeming upset for no apparent reason.
  • Being unable to stay late at all and seeming afraid at the suggestion.
  • Having a spouse call frequently throughout the day – or show up at strange times for ‘visits.'
  • Suddenly turning in poor or unsatisfactory work when previous work has always been satisfactory.

Although there are other signs of domestic violence which can be spotted in the workplace, these are the most common.

How to Approach a Victim of Domestic Violence in the Workplace

If a superior wishes to approach a victim of domestic violence in the workplace to determine whether help is needed – it's understandable that he or she may be hesitant. The suspected victim may become upset or defensive in this situation. However, it can be done in a way that is non-threatening and friendly.

Superiors may say something like, ‘I've noticed that you seem very quiet lately and that you've been turning your work in late. While that's alright, I wanted to make sure that everything is good at home. I want to let you know that my office is always open to you if you should need help or just to talk.' By approaching a suspected victim of domestic violence in this way, a superior could be the one to get the victim the safety he or she needs.

Providing Assistance for Domestic Violence in the Workplace

There are many different kinds of assistance which could be offered to victims of domestic violence. Keep phone numbers to organizations and places where the victim could get help. Flyers or information sheets are a good idea as well.

By providing assistance for employees who may be experiencing domestic violence, each employer takes a step toward eradicating it. For more information, or if you know someone who is being abused, contact a family lawyer for assistance.

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