Private Pain and Public Risk: Addressing Domestic Violence in the Workplace

Recorded Date: June 2, 2021

Time: 9am – 10:30am PDT

Speaker: Glenn French


To access the recording of this webinar, please go here. As a member of OHS Insider, use discount code SAFETYNOW21 to watch the recording for free on demand. All ancillary material is available as a handout with the recording.

About the Webinar

Historically domestic violence, also referred to as intimate partner violence, was treated as a private matter, rarely discussed openly, and certainly not at work. Rarely did one’s personal life and intersect with work that we would think that someone’s private pain could become a public risk – until now.

Like many occupational health and safety advances, nothing sheds light on a workplace risk other than a well-publicized tragedy, which prompts all of us to take notice and act. Sadly, this has been the case with domestic violence as a workplace risk.

Domestic violence affects thousands of working people every day. It impacts the ability of workers to provide and care for themselves and their families. Apart from eroding workplace productivity in the form of absenteeism, increased health costs, and employee turnover, intimate partner violence can risk the lives of the targeted individual and their coworkers.

Employers have a moral, if not a legal, obligation to victims of domestic violence if they know, or reasonably should know, that this once private risk could enter the workplace. Regardless of the jurisdiction, we need to be reminded of how we can protect victims of domestic violence and, by extension, their coworkers. This webinar will focus on supporting victims by developing sensible safety plans in the circumstances related to their work. Participants can anticipate learning more about:

  • The anatomy of domestic violence
  • How to approach and engage suspected victims of domestic violence
  • The importance of establishing a workplace safety plan
  • Who to include in the plan, and why
  • The importance of maintaining a victim’s sense of personal control
  • The reluctant victim. What are the limits of an employer’s responsibility?
  • Why might a victim not accept assistance or support

About the Speaker

Glenn French is President of the Canadian Initiative on Workplace Violence based in Toronto, Canada. Mr. French has held many senior administrative and clinical positions within both the private and public sectors. Many of Canada’s leading organizations interested in the safety and wellbeing of their employees have retained him.