DiscoverPartnered with a Survivor: David Mandel and Ruth Stearns MandelSeason 2 Episode 23: Minisode on Worker Safety & Well Being: When Workers Are Survivors Themselves
Season 2 Episode 23: Minisode on Worker Safety & Well Being: When Workers Are Survivors Themselves

Season 2 Episode 23: Minisode on Worker Safety & Well Being: When Workers Are Survivors Themselves

Update: 2021-11-27
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In this fourth installment of the multi-part minisode series on worker safety and well-being, Ruth and David explore when workers are being targeted by their own perpetrator, and the implications for the workplace.   In a just over  20 minutes , David & Ruth discuss: 

  • David's history with worker personal disclosures about their own victimization 
  • How workers going through the Safe & Together Model training are seeing their own experience reflected in the material
  • How agencies are using the Safe & Together Model to identify employees whose performance is suffering due to abuse and provide them with greater support 

In the middle part of the minisode, David and Ruth discuss perpetrator behaviors that target the workplace including: 

  • Behaviors that cause survivors to miss time at work like taking the car or stopping her from leaving or making her worried the children will be unsafe if she leave
  •  Unwanted, often repeated calls to the workplace, showing up at work
  •  Stalking and surveillance behaviors which may make it fearful for someone to be out in the community
  • Accusations of affairs if she meeting alone with male clients
  • When the professional works for agencies like child protection or the courts,  threats of calling the police or child protection may carry with it extra shame and fear of losing employment  . 

As result, survivors  may  may present as  with performance issues including missed days, lateness, being distracted or unable to focus at work; irritability with coworkers, and feelings of being overwhelmed. 

In the final portion of the minisode, David & Ruth outline some strategies for agencies including: 

  •  Ensuring that any employee safety policy explicitly recognizes the connection between coercive control and employee performance, and how perpetrators target workers at worker as a powerful form of control. 
  •  Agencies needing to clearly articulates how it will support and respond to an employee who is experiencing domestic violence including how performance concerns will be handled sensitively and in context.
  • Particularly important in agencies where a threat of a report creates fears for one's jobs and shame, any workplace policy needs to be clear about how survivors confidentiality amongst her peers will be safeguarded, e.g. specialized process for handling information
  • When the perpetrator is a fellow employee, the consequences for abusive behavior must be clear. 
  • The agency policy must work to be responsive to the needs of survivors, e.g. reassignment to a different area or rotation of schedule to respond to threats of stalking that may impeding performance or safety;
  • Communication of this policy must shared proactively on a regular basis so that survivors have the information they need to protect themselves from threats against their job 
  • Train supervisors, managers, and HR around handling these items consistently with policy, including training to always consider domestic violence victimization as one of the possible reasons for poor performance
  • Institute a flex policy that supports workers in their ability to attend court for protection order hearings, criminal cases ,and family matters when domestic violence is involved. 

About the  worker safety and well-being minisode series   
The goal of the series is to address the critical issues of worker safety and well-being as a critical aspect of domestic violence-informed systems. This is a series for frontline staff across child protection, mental health and addiction, courts and other systems. We hope it will validate their experiences. This is also a series for human resources managers and organizational leadership. Setting policies and&

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Season 2 Episode 23: Minisode on Worker Safety & Well Being: When Workers Are Survivors Themselves

Season 2 Episode 23: Minisode on Worker Safety & Well Being: When Workers Are Survivors Themselves

Ruth Stearns Mandel & David Mandel