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Assisting Victims at Work
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If risk is imminent or in progress, call 911 and/or company security immediately. Then call the local Domestic Violence hotline number or local Crisis Lines.

Otherwise, here are some ways you can help:

  • Advise the victim to talk to the supervisor or designated staff person (e.g., employee assistance manager, human resource manager, security supervisor, owner, etc.) and complete a safety plan, including recent photograph of the perpetrator.

  • Encourage her/him to obtain a restraining order that includes the workplace, and keep a copy on hand at all times. The victim may want to consider providing a copy to the police, her/his supervisor, security, or human resources.

  • Encourage her/him to save any threatening e-mail or voice-mail messages. These can potentially be used for future legal action, or can serve as evidence that an existing restraining order was violated.

  • Ask the victim to name an emergency contact person in case the employee is missing or unreachable.

  • Designate a code word or phrase so she/he can alert you to danger.

  • Is her/his workstation away from public access, stairs, and elevators? If not, can it be moved? Can barriers be placed between the entrance and the victim's workstation?

  • Can she/he be given priority parking near the building and a security escort from her car?

  • Can someone walk with her/him to her car or public transit stop? Are there any car pools in her residential area?

  • Can others answer her/his phone? How can her/his phone calls be screened? Can her/his phone number be changed? Can caller ID be installed in her/his work unit?

  • Can her/his name and number be removed from automated phone messages or directories?

  • Can her/his paychecks be delivered to another location?

  • Identify co-workers who have special training in security for your supervisor.

  • Don't give out any information to others. Perpetrators often have excellent skills in obtaining information from co-workers. Check with your supervisor if you think you have knowledge that may be private and confidential.

  • Make sure the employee knows about your workplace policy and how to report any incident. Make certain the employee knows specifics of your policy does it include threats over the telephone? Does it include non-employees as well as employees? Is there a specific telephone number to call?
Most important, ask the victim what changes could be made to make her/him feel safer. Remember, the victim knows the perpetrator better than anyone else.
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