Domestic violence protection needed in workplace too

COLUMBIANA – A co-worker shows up with bruises, is limping and moving slightly slower than normal. What do you do?

Most people think it is none of their business, but the fact is, someone who is a victim of domestic violence and continues to work is bringing that threat to the workplace, Dottie Kane of the VIP Workplace Program said.

Victims should be protected, but the companies they are working for should also be protected, as well as protecting their other employees from a potential threat, she said.

Doing all three is possible, if you follow the right procedures, like participating in workplace violence training and knowing what resources are available.

Unfortunately, domestic violence made headlines throughout the county and surrounding areas four times alone last year, four times the year before that and one time in 2011, she pointed out.

Those cases included the murder-suicides by the estranged boyfriend of a female Walmart employee in Salem, and the estranged husband of a woman in a Walmart parking lot in New Castle, Pa. Both happened two months apart at the end of last year.

Last summer a man allegedly killed his estranged girlfriend in Salem, with the murder discovered after the woman’s employer called police when she didn’t show up for work, and later that summer in Salem a man allegedly killed his wife when he was angry because she came home from work late.

Other cases were documented in Canfield and Girard.

Nearly one-third of women killed in workplaces across the nation between 2003 and 2008 were killed by a current or former intimate partner, according to information recently provided by Kane to members of the Columbiana Area Chamber of Commerce.

But the violence isn’t only targeted at women. One in four women have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner while one in seven men have experienced the same, according to a 2010 Center for Disease Control summary report.

Kane was one of several speakers at the business showcase at Col-Pump, and advised business owners to be aware of how domestic violence affects their operations.

Domestic violence accounts for more than 7.9 million paid workdays lost per year, for an estimated $727.8 million in lost productivity costs, according to her information.

“It’s an issue that nobody wants to talk about but it’s real … we feel it’s important to train and educate people,” she said.

She added the Columbiana Police Department has been extremely supportive of the VIP Workplace Program, available to Columbiana and the surrounding counties.

A workplace violence training is already scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. June 13 at the Columbiana County Department of Job and Family Service on Dickey Drive in Lisbon.

A $35 registration fee must be submitted no later than June 9. The training will quality for the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation safety council external training credit and/or group rating two hour training.

Checks should be made payable to the Help Hotline Crisis Center Inc. and mailed to P.O. Box 46, Youngstown, Ohio, 44501.

Additional information can be found online at or by calling 330-744-4244. A future training is also scheduled for Sept. 10.