Businesses Will Help End the Silence on Family Violence
November 02, 2011
Employers play a key role in raising awareness and breaking the cycle
A unique partnership that includes employers in efforts to identify and eliminate family violence was announced as part of the kick off event for Family Violence Prevention Month.
The Family-Business Connect initiative has twelve employers, including Enbridge and the City of Edmonton, signing a three-year commitment to educate staff about family violence. The initiative is part of the Violence Reduction Action Plan that Mayor Mandel, Police Chief Rod Knecht, and Jon Hall, Chair of REACH Edmonton, unveiled in August.
“Family violence is not 'the victim's problem,' and it doesn't stay at home. It seeps into our communities through every aspect of life, and that includes the workplace. It's time we learned more about the effects of family violence and equipped ourselves to recognize it, deal with it, and get those engaged in it the help they need,” said Mayor Mandel. “The statistics tell us that, whether we are aware or not, someone we know has experienced or been impacted by family violence. Businesses have a unique opportunity to reach out to their own employees, and begin to break the silence around this issue. And by doing so, they are going to positively affect productivity, absenteeism and workplace morale.”
The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) is partnering with the Mayor’s office on the initiative to encourage businesses to take a proactive stance and help employees impacted by family violence. “By implementing policy, by teaching employees and supervisors to recognize the signs of family violence and how to respond appropriately, the workplace becomes safer and more productive for everyone,” said Carolyn Goard, Director of Programs and Member Services with ACWS.
Karen Reynolds, a local social worker of 30 years, has firsthand experience assisting individuals in overcoming family violence. Committed to the cause after her brother became a victim of domestic violence in the workplace, Karen urges the community to combat this issue together.
"We need to equip businesses and organizations with the proper tools to recognize and respond to domestic violence in the workplace," said Ms. Reynolds.
Family violence in the workplace is the fastest growing type of abuse in Canada. Seventy per cent of domestic violence victims experience abuse while at work and over 75 per cent of perpetrators who have been charged used workplace resources.
Today’s Family Violence Prevention event showcased information and support services available. Other events occurring during the month include the Diverse Voices Family Violence Prevention Conference, November 13-15, and the seventh annual Breakfast with the Guys on November 30 featuring Arlene Dickson and Mayor Stephen Mandel.
For information on other events planned during Family Violence Prevention Month, visit Family Violence Prevention.
For more information:
For information on Family Violence Prevention Month
|Title||Social Worker, Family Violence Prevention/Community Development|
Erica BrusselersFor information on the Family-Business Connect initiative
|Title||Communications Consultant, Office of the Mayor|