Written by Robert D. Sollars
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…Domestic violence (DV). That may seem preposterous to you, but it’s even worse than that. Think about the number of people you may personally know and innumerable stories of DV you hear about on a daily basis within your community. Whether those incidents are broadcast on the news as something else… who knows.
No one can definitively know if those incidents you hear about will spill over into the organization. But in any event, if it does it will have a chilling effect on both the organization and community. No matter the size of it, from a small community of professionals to the larger overall metropolitan area you live in. It affects everyone that is even remotely close to the victim.
The actual statistic that I have is 48% of workplace violence (WPV) incidents begin as DV. Just because the number drops 2% doesn’t necessarily mean that you are less likely to die at work due to a WPV incident. Your chances are still the same…50/50. Not really such great odds, are they?
The reasonable excuses you may have for your chances of being lower are that you know no DV victims or that you don’t work close enough to a victim, in that you are 100% wrong…like those odds better? Here’s a short explanation.
Usually, if a DV incident spills over into WPV it doesn’t usually stay contained to just the intended victim, especially if the intent of the perpetrator is murder. They, 99% of the time men in DV incidents, will take out their anger on whoever may be around the victim.
In their eyes, the people who are in the way, legitimately or not, are trying to keep them from their property that they have to punish for some perceived slight or oversight. The keyword in that sentence? Perceived. I have said it countless times in my blogs, presentations, and just discussing it. What they perceive as their reality is nothing less than reality and no one will dissuade them from it. Delusional? You betcha and there is nothing any of us can do about it.
You will notice that one term I used above is reprehensible to most people when describing a victim. Property of the perpetrator. But that is what the perpetrator believes. The victim is their property to do with as they see fit. Order to work for them, fetch them food, cigarettes, drugs, or booze, have sex when they want it, or do whatever. The major difference between these relationships and others similar? These relationships are violent to the extreme in causing abuse and injury. From physical, mental, psychological, and emotional.
A report from the Barrows Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ. in September 2017, that as many as 5% of all DV victims have suffered a concussion with many of those having a permanent injury. Permanent injury? Mental loss, debilitating seizures, loss of coordination, and other examples of someone who has suffered severe head trauma. Maybe the current term that most people will recognize better…Traumatic Brain Injuries or TBI’s.
Then there is the phrase ‘those standing in the way, legitimately or not. To the perpetrator, anyone, literally anyone, who is in the way of stopping them from entering the facility is aiding and abetting their property from seeing them, security, receptionist, managers and etc. It doesn’t matter if it is procedure and policy or not, they are stopping them from seeing and murdering their property. They will not stop until they see the property…even if they have to murder dozens to get to it.
What can we do, as security professionals and interested parties, to help prevent DV and its arrival in our workplace to rein fire and brimstone upon innocent victims as well as the partner? Here is a shortlist of what YOU can do;
#1 if you see the victim begin shutting down emotionally after being open and having fun and friends…
#2 not stopping to chat or possibly holding their heads up anymore
#3 physical injuries on their bodies such as bruising, welts, and etc, and blaming themselves for being “so damned clumsy”.
#4 report anything like this you may see to management, security, or police
According to the company, legal & HR, these are about the only things you can do albeit morally, ethically, and legally, you may be able to do a lot more. But it is obvious that something has to be done in this country, and organizations, to curb DV where ever it occurs.
With DV resulting in more than 48% of all WPV incidents beginning this way it is imperative that we attempt to stop it from entering the facility…another shortlist;
#1 see someone being abused in a store, parking lot, or another place? Report it.
#2 hears someone screaming for help while possibly in pain? Report it
#3 hear slapping sounds after an argument or worse gunshots? Report it.
#4 even thinks someone is being abused in one way or another? Report it.
If you report possible abuse then you have fulfilled a part of your obligation as a human. Unfortunately, after that, the bureaucracy takes over and you may never know what happens to the potential victim. You watch the news one night and see the television reporter telling you about a WPV incident started by a DV perpetrator.
Contact: Sollars Violence Prevention Training & Consulting
It happens to Anyone…Any Time…Anywhere… For any Reason
I May Be Blind, but My Vision Is Crystal Clear
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Copyright 2021 Robert D. Sollars