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What does domestic abuse have to do with your workplace?

Increasingly, employers are recognizing that domestic abuse and violence, sexual assault, and stalking impact the workplace, with victims, survivors, and perpetrators among the work force.  Maine has been a national leader in addressing these issues. Spruce Run-Womancare Alliance has been part of this statewide work and has worked locally with employers to develop policies that address these issues and to train staff to work within those policies.

How can Spruce Run-Womancare Alliance help?

Spruce Run-Womancare Alliance’s work with employers includes:

  • Consultation with business owners and management to explore whether a domestic abuse policy is appropriate and feasible in their business settings.
  • Training for policy development teams to provide them with the tools to create a policy that suits their particular workplaces, and ongoing consultation in the development of that policy.
  • Training for managers, supervisors, and voluntary responders who will be responsible for the ongoing implementation of the policy, including work with individuals affected by or perpetrating abuse that affects the workplace setting and falls within the policy framework.
  • Awareness-raising workshops for the general employee population.
  • Ongoing availability to consult with management and human resources in addressing individual cases of domestic abuse in the workplace.
  • Ongoing availability to meet with employees by their request at the work site to provide support, advocacy, and safety planning collaboration.

Examples of past collaborations

In 2004 Governor Baldacci issued an Executive Order that all Maine state agencies develop and implement policies to address domestic violence and abuse, sexual assault and stalking in the workplace.  Spruce Run staff participated by training policy development teams, responders, and general employees in government agencies in Northern Maine.

In the greater Bangor area, Spruce Run partnered with Eastern Maine Medical Center, Training and Development Corps, Microdyne, and the University of Maine to develop domestic abuse in the workplace policies.

Spruce Run participated in the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence’s initiative, called Maine Employers Against Domestic Violence (MEADV).  MEADV has completed many projects, including two research studies with the Maine Department of Labor exploring the impact of domestic abuse on the workplace, and the development of an online training offered through the Maine Department of Public Safety.

What do people have to say about Spruce Run’s work with employers?

[The trainer] was so open, knowledgeable and heartfelt.  She made it easy to get into such a difficult topic. -Anonymous, University of Maine

This workshop should be mandatory for all employees -Catherine Schmitt, Maine Sea Grant at the University of Maine

As a safety officer, I will be even more aware of warning signs [of abuse].  Excellent interaction between instructor and employees… very good use of time.  Excellent presentation! -James Downie, Microdyne

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