Security Measures to Prevent Domestic Violence (DV) in the Organization
Written by Robert D. Sollars
This is a 2-part series of blogs. The reason for 2 parts? This is a detailed subject and needs to be in 2 parts in order to be digested by non-security personnel to fully understand what must be done to protect those being victimized by this crime.
There is absolutely no doubt, no matter the gender or relationship, yes even gay, lesbian, ethnicity, domestic violence WILL invade your organization at some point. Whether that invasion be a screaming shit-fit by a significant other or a knockdown drag outfuck everybody! between them, or family members, doesn’t matter…it will invade the organization in some fashion, at some point, somehow some way.
I’m hoping that I can give you more than a few ways to protect your people, students & employees, within the organization to stay safe and secure, both there and out & about. Remember, as always, tweak these for your own use, if need be…there are absolutely NO cookie-cutter solutions for security or preventing violence. What works for one organization may not work for another. You can always contact us to assist you with Sollars Violence Prevention Training & Consulting
There are many steps that can be taken to minimize injury to the victim and lessen the liability of the organization while reducing the risk. Will these tips listed below stop every incident on property? Of course, it won’t! That’s rainbow pie in the sky thinking, but if you follow them and ensure your security plans are prepared for the potential…it may prevent…most of the victimization of the individual on the property and possibly death, injury, and trauma – to both the victim and those that witness it.
Outwardly, a physical injury will be what a victim suffers from. However, it is the psychological trauma that can, and more than likely will, follow them for the rest of their lives. This psychological trauma is not easily seen or understood in any organization, but it must be minimized as best as humanly possible.
Let’s begin this post by assisting the victims by making them feel safe while in the facility. It will also help you to begin building trust and confidence, or more of it, between them and the organization, enabling employees to come forward with such intimate & personal issues.
- Listening and actually believing that they may be abused. If the abuser is ‘charming, suave, and debonair…’ it may be hard to believe. But unless an actual investigation is undertaken by the police or other such agency… which is where the trust and confidence in you come into play.
- Looking for the signs of abuse, even if they deny it. These are innumerable in their own right so it is imperative that you or a member of your staff learn to recognize them, which will generally fall to front-line employees & supervisors. Sometimes they’re not so easily spotted:
Long sleeves, slacks, and/or turtle necks in summer.
Constantly wearing sunglasses.
Jumpier than they would normally be.
While discussing their bruises they joke about their clumsiness.
Consistently coming into work with minor injuries, scratches, welts, bruises, & possibly even broken/sprained bones.
Becoming a loner and staying quiet when the opposite had been true a few weeks or months earlier.
Alienating friends both at work and elsewhere for no apparent reason. Either they’re doing it themselves, again in innumerable ways, or their partner is pushing it along, subtly, or in front of it all.
Frequent unsettling phone calls either on the company phone or their cell, interrupting workflow and productivity.
Of course, there are numerous other signs of abuse. Contact a local domestic abuse shelter or training organization to get as much information as you can to disseminate to employees.
Security procedures to protect them
This is where your expertise as a security professional, or a human resource professional, comes into play. You know when and where you can do little things to pump up the effectiveness of the security program to make the facility more secure to keep out unauthorized individuals:
- If possible, issue a photo of the abuser and keep them off the property. Ensuring that all doors are secured with no exceptions for ‘just this once. That is absolutely imperative to do.
- Issuing strict orders that no one is allowed to tailgate, follow behind another employee, into the parking lot or facility, or posting a security officer at the gate if necessary. Other measures may be necessary depending on location.
- Adapting high visibility of security in and around the facility…
- Ensuring that surveillance doesn’t become slack for as long as necessary, is tough to do for extended periods – not hours but days, weeks, or longer.
- Never allowing an attitude of ‘I know them we’ll do it just this once, even if it isn’t the abuser but a regular joe who works there. Again, this is absolutely imperative to maintain the security integrity of the facility…and the victim by not allowing someone in “just this once”.
- Have your supervisors, preferably security officers, escort the employee when necessary to & from their vehicle or even to the bus stop, no matter how far away that may be…across the street or down the block.
While these may seem to be over-the-top, and in some places, a standard practice needs to be reiterated and strictly enforced. There are other procedures that you can tweak to protect one employee as well.
- Employee Assistance programs (EAP). The necessary references to resources to help them, including shelters. This may be up to an EAP provider; however, you need to find one to allow your employees to utilize them. They may not be cheap, but the only other recourse you may have been to keep a list of resources with HR and/or publish it for the taking.
- Can you provide any legal, security, or spiritual assistance? Don’t let your legal department tell you that you are treading on thin ice and you can’t do this…figure a way around it. If necessary, refer them to the EAP for these items, especially legal and spiritual.
However, security is our responsibility. Taking care of people is also a moral imperative. Think about offering assistance with alarm systems or other such items for the home, car, etc. It may not be much but it could greatly help them, even if it’s cheap and not hundreds or thousands of dollars.
The second part of this blog will be posted next week. IF, IN THE MEANTIME…anyone is victimized by DV or the threat is there, please contact me for the rest of this blog and/or advice
Like these blogs? Then please feel free to pass them along, with proper attribution, to friends, colleagues, or anyone who may benefit, with proper attribution. Have them subscribe at my website: Sollars Violence Prevention Training & Consulting
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