Ensuring Domestic Safety During the Holiday Season

Safety and Risk Management
Domestic violence prevention ribbon

As we eagerly anticipate the holiday season, filled with plans to spend quality time with loved ones or embark on a well-deserved break, it's essential to remember that not everyone experiences the holidays in the same way. Some of our colleagues may be facing a different, more challenging reality – one marked by relationship abuse.

While statistics on the frequency of domestic violence incidents during the holidays vary, one thing is clear: domestic violence doesn't take a holiday break. Several factors can contribute to these acts during this time, including:

  • Strained family relations
  • Financial pressures
  • Work-related stress
  • Holiday shopping and planning
  • Isolation with the perpetrator
  • Increased substance use

It's crucial for companies, managers, and coworkers to possess the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to support employees going through intimate partner violence. Recognizing signs of domestic violence is the first step:

  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Increased stress levels
  • Partner/spouse's behavior at company events
  • Partner's unnecessary presence at employee gatherings
  • Visible bruises or cuts
  • Public criticism from a partner
  • Changes in mood or appearance
  • Signs of depression or anxiety

Supporting colleagues experiencing relationship abuse is a collective responsibility. Here's how you can make a difference: (source: Women’s Advocates, wadvocates.org)

  • Listen – if possible find a time and place that is safe and confidential to speak with your coworker
  • Support – let victims of violence know they are not alone and should never be hurt by another person.
  • Provide Resources – encourage them to reach out to community resources, crisis hotlines and support groups. (National Domestic Violence Hotline - 800-799-7233, available 24/7)
  • Create a “Help” Safety Plan – this is a link to a sample safety plan.
  • Respect Their Choices – do not pressure them to leaving – it’s never that simple. Do not be judgmental, let them know you are there for them no matter what. You are there to support not to rescue.

Together, we can help create a safe and inclusive space for all our colleagues.

#DomesticAbuse #SupportEachOther #DomesticViolence #CareerLearning #domesticviolenceawareness #mentalhealth