It’s Worse Than You May Know: 10 Things HR Needs to Understand About Domestic Violence in the Workplace

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    Speaker: Lynn Fairweather

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    Duration: 90 Minutes
    Product Code: 50173
    Level: Intermediate

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Many human resources professionals have had basic training on how domestic violence impacts the workplace, but most do not realize the depth of the problem nor the most effective ways to deal with it. This training covers 10 specific points about employee victims and perpetrators, violence risk, victim perspective, best practice interventions, and the financial damage associated with domestic violence.


Human resources professionals are often charged with handling employee related domestic violence cases, which can be both challenging and dangerous. This training seeks to educate and prepare HR staff to assess and handle domestic violence cases by sharing crucial information on where victims are coming from, what they’re really facing, and how employers can sensitively and effectively support them, in order to keep the entire workplace safer overall. Statistically speaking, every large company has domestic violence in their midst, whether they realize it or not. More than half of women (and many men) have experienced physical, sexual, or severe emotional abuse during their lifetime and most of these victims are employed, as are their abusers. When both show up to their jobs, the abuse and harassment often follow, emerging as domestic violence “spillover” in the workplace. The spillover spectrum ranges from repetitive phone calls on the mild end, to mass shootings on the extreme.

Of course, violent incidents are a primaryconcern, but the impact of domestic violence in the workplace reaches far beyond human safety alone. Abused employees have higher absenteeism and lower productivity rates than non-abused employees. They also have over 40% higher health care costs and a greater chance of leaving the company or being fired because of what they are experiencing at home and at work. Performance issues caused by domestic violence are often what HR encounters first, before realizing the extent of the problem. In addition, employee-abusers create a significant liability risk for companies posing threats that range from OSHA violations to multi- million dollar post-incident lawsuits. If employee victims aren’t coming forward and management isn’t responding correctly, then the company is “flying blind”, unable to see the dangers before them. Human resources professionals should attend this training because while it is within their power to address and defeat the insidious enemy of domestic violence, they can’t do it without understanding the nature of their opponent and knowing exactly what tools to use in the battle against it.


• Recognizing and addressing batterer employees
• Domestic violence spillover in the workplace
• Performance and attrition issues caused by domestic violence
• 7 ways domestic violence impacts businesses
• Cost calculation resources
• Liability issues
• Victim disclosure fears
• How to encourage victim disclosure
• How to respond sensitively and effectively to employed victims
• Creating a menu of remedies and accommodations
• Complications and risks for victims leaving an abuser
• Understanding the path to “escape velocity”


• Participants will explore the issue of domestic violence and learn how it impacts the workplace
• Participants will gain insight into the topic of domestic violence “spillover” and discuss the legal and financial problems it can create
• Participants will improve their skills in recognizing and responding to domestic violence victims in the workplace
• Participants will examine and develop new strategies for assessing and managing employee related domestic violence cases


Human resources professionals at all levels. Management, employee relations, legal, and security professionals


Years of Experience: 24+ years

Areas of Expertise: Domestic Violence Response and Prevention 

Lynn Fairweather, MSW is an abuse survivor who has worked in the domestic violence response and prevention field for over 24 years. In her role as president of Presage Consulting and Training she provides expert guidance and education to professionals in both the public and private sector, ranging from the federal government to multinational Fortune 500 corporations. Presage services include domestic violence threat assessment and management training, workplace violence program and policy consultations, and 24/7 threat response for employee cases. Before founding Presage in 2008, Lynn earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Science and a master’s degree in Social Work.

Her skills in domestic violence threat assessment were developed by working on thousands of high risk cases through positions in social service, criminal justice, university, and shelter systems. Lynn has served on several interpersonal violence task forces and facilitated both victim support groups and batterer’s intervention programs.

As President of Oregon VAWPAC, Lynn leads America’s only bi-partisan political action committee focused on ending violence against women. She is an active member of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals and holds training certifications from Homeland Security’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and Gavin de Becker’s Advanced Threat Assessment Academy. Locally, she donates her time to train domestic violence organizations as a way of giving back to the advocacy field where she began her career. Lynn also writes professionally on the subject of domestic violence, releasing her first book in 2012 (Stop Signs: Recognizing, Avoiding, and Escaping Abusive Relationships” Seal Press) and appearing as a featured author in Asta Publishing’s 2015 compilation “Tales of Women Survivors”.

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