October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. Domestic violence is behavior perpetrated by one intimate partner that creates an environment of terror for the other partner and includes, but is not limited to, physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and economic abuse as well as threats and destructiveness directed at the partner’s loved ones or valued possessions.
Domestic violence occurs among older and younger adults and adolescents, heterosexual and gay or lesbian couples, dating, married and formerly dating or formerly married couples of every socio-economic, racial or ethnic group.
The perpetrator engages in these behaviors in an attempt to exercise power and control over the life of the other person. If the relationship seems threatened by breakup or divorce, the perpetrator is likely to escalate these behaviors in an effort to regain that control and prevent the relationship from ending. The following are examples of common forms of domestic violence:
Physical Abuse – Restraint, slapping, hitting, coercing drug use or withholding medication, aggravated assault and battery.
Sexual Abuse – Coerced sex acts, forcible intercourse, sexual activity pressed after a physically abusive incident, denial of contraception, coerced abortion and sexual mutilation.
Emotional Abuse – Threats, verbal disparagement, intimidation, degrading or contemptuous behavior, withholding communication, yelling and social isolation.
Economic Abuse – Direct or indirect manipulation or domination of family finances, abdication of financial responsibility, disposition of the personal property of family members without consent, sabotaging employment or credit.
Destruction of Property – Vandalism of home, car or other personal assets, vandalism of property of employer, landlord, creditors or others.
Threats or Acts of Abuse Against Loved Ones of Primary Target – Any of the above perpetrated against children, relatives, significant others or family pets.
Here are a few ideas that can help keep you safe at work:
• Inform your immediate supervisor and others who work with you about the situation.
• Share a photograph of the abuser with immediate supervisor and others you work with.
• Have someone escort you to and from your vehicle.
• Park closer to the building.
• Change your phone number if someone harasses you by phone.
• Work closely with the security department at your facility.
If you are a victim of abuse of if you know of someone who is a victim of abuse, call your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for assistance. The EAP can connect you with resources to assist you. The EAP can also work with your employer to ensure you are safe at work. Just know that you are not alone. Help is available – it’s just a phone call away. If you feel you are abusing someone, the EAP can assist you also.
For additional assistance with personal or work concerns, contact Agnesian HealthCare’s Work and Wellness Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at (800) 458-8183.