Nobody knows more about the impact of partner violence on the workplace - and how businesses should address it.
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Best Practices
COUNTRY Financial
COUNTRY Financial (formerly COUNTRY Insurance & Financial Services and Country Companies) is an active supporter and participant in "Domestic Violence Awareness Month." During October, communications are sent out from the company to employees, such as the letter sent in a past "Awareness Month" to the Bloomington Home Office and the Salem, Oregon Regional Office personnel from Deanna Frautschi, Vice President of Communications and Human Resources. Here is an excerpt from that letter:

“What does domestic violence have to do with the workplace? A lot when you consider one in four American women report they have been physically abused by a partner at some point in their lives. Domestic violence doesn't stay home when victims and abusers come to work. It can affect productivity, increase absenteeism, and raise the risk of violence at work. In an organization the size of ours, it is a certainty that some of our coworkers are personally affected by domestic violence."

"As a member of the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, the Country Companies are committed to help prevent partner violence through education and awareness. An informational brochure, "Make It Your Business," is attached to help you learn more about partner violence and how to help."

The letter included telephone numbers where employees could get information and assistance, and each employee received a copy of the CAEPV brochure, “Make It Your Business,” along with the letter. The company also collaborated with several local organizations for national YWCA "Week Without Violence" activities, including sponsorship of an employer workshop on workplace violence issues for local businesses at Country Insurance facilities.

Also, past "Awareness Month" events have included During October 2001, volunteer network (Heart of the Country) held a drive to collect items for "First Night" shelter kits, including such things as blankets, stuffed animals, and personal hygiene items, for a local domestic violence shelter. The kits will be used to help children feel safe during the transition from their homes to the shelter. Also during the month, a CAEPV program — "When Domestic Violence Comes to Work" — was presented to supervisory personnel, as an educational session, and their EAP included a feature piece on domestic violence in its newsletter.

In addition to its internal activities, COUNTRY Financial assists local domestic violence programs. As an example, the company produced several different types of videos for a local volunteer organization to use in making presentations about domestic violence throughout the community.
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