Obama Issues Workplace DV Order

On April 18, 2012, President Obama  took a major step  to protect the lives of women and men who are federal employees when he issued an order directing all federal agencies to develop a policy to prevent and respond to domestic violence experienced by employees that affects the workplace. He published the Presidential Memorandum — Establishing Policies for Addressing Domestic Violence in the Federal Workforce.

“From moms dropping their children off at day care centers to front line staff at our national parks to our military families, a workplace policy will help ensure that federal employees and their co-workers are protected from violence,” said Esta Soler, President and Founder of Futures Without Violence, formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund.

A policy for the federal workforce has been a goal of violence against women advocates for many years, both because it can play a critical role in protecting and assisting federal employees, but also because it can help demonstrate best practices to private employers as well.

“Workplace domestic violence policies make sense — they can help save lives and money,” Soler continued. “They contribute to safer and more productive workplaces for all employees, and can also be an important tool to hold accountable employees who are perpetrators. We cannot express enough our deepest gratitude to the President for making the issue of violence against women and girls such an important priority for his Administration.”

Just last week, researchers at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health released a new study documenting the extent of intimate partner homicide in the workplace. Women who are murdered at work are almost as likely to be killed by a spouse, other relative or acquaintance as they are by a stranger.

As part of a series of initiatives designed to prevent violence and help victims, Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center is an unprecedented resource that makes it easier than ever for employers to adopt vitally important policies to protect employees from domestic and sexual violence.

The Resource Center was created in October 2010 by a partnership of eight national organizations led by Futures Without Violence and funded by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). It includes a website for employers with information and a set of powerful tools that were never available before.