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How Employees Who Batter Affect the Workplace

In 2001, Employers Against Domestic Violence (Boston, MA) conducted focus groups with convicted male domestic violence offenders, and asked them about the impact their behavior had on their workplaces.

They found that: abusers made costly and dangerous mistakes on the job as a result of perpetrating domestic violence; most abusers used company phones, e-mail, and/or other resources including vehicles in order to perpetrate domestic abuse; most abusers used paid work time in order to attend court for matters relating to their perpetration of domestic violence; most employers expressed support for the abuser (but few expressed concern for the victim); and 10% of employers posted bail for abusers or granted them paid leaves of absence for court dates related to domestic violence.

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In 2004 a study of partner violence perpetrators and the workplace was released by the Maine Department of Labor and Family Crisis Services, a nonprofit organization. The study found that employed partner violence offenders have a significant impact on their workplaces. Among the significant impacts reported by offenders:

Black and white photo of a woman listening on the phone with her hand cradling her forehead.
  • Over three-quarters of offenders used workplace resources at least once to express remorse or anger, check up on, pressure, or threaten the victim.
  • 73% of supervisors were aware of the domestic abuse offender's arrest, but only 15% reminded the employee that domestic abuse is a crime.
  • 74% had easy access to their intimate partner's workplace, with 21% of offenders reporting that they contacted her at the workplace in violation of a no-contact order.
  • 70 domestic abuse offenders lost 15,221 hours of work time due to their domestic abuse arrests. At Maine's average hourly wage, this equals approximately $200,000. (Averages to 5.5 weeks/person)
  • 68% of offenders said that domestic abuse posters and brochures in the workplace would help prevent domestic abuse from impacting the business.
  • 48% of offenders had difficulty concentrating at work, with 19% of offenders reporting a workplace accident or near miss from inattentiveness due to pre-occupation with their relationship.
  • 42% of offenders were late to work.

Source: Maine Department of Labor and Family Crisis Services study released February 17, 2004.