Iowa researcher develops free online training modules to identify and help victims of domestic violence

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Newswise – Intimate partner violence isn’t limited to the home. It often invades other spaces as well, including the workplace.

A CDC report found that intimate partner violence costs an estimated $1 billion in lost time and productivity each year in the United States, and a recent European study found that more than 20% of victims of intimate partner violence report an increase in absenteeism at work, and 50% say so. affects the quality of their work.

To address this problem, a University of Iowa researcher has developed a free online training program that employers can use to help their employees identify the warning signs of domestic violence and offer them strategies to help them.

“Intimate partner violence comes with key warning signs from both the victim and the abuser, and if these signs can be detected earlier, we may be able to recognize it more quickly and ask or offer help,” said Beth Livingston, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship. at the Tippie College of Business which studies the impact of domestic violence in the workplace. She said intimate partner violence is one of the most common forms of violence against women and includes physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse, as well as controlling behaviors by an intimate partner. Tragically, a woman is killed every three days because of domestic violence.

Livingston has partnered with the Abuse is Not Love initiative of Yves St. Laurent Beauty, based in Paris, France, to develop online training modules that employers can share to help employees identify warning signs of domestic violence and suggest strategies to help them. She said workplaces are particularly critical for intimate partner violence, as Livingston’s research has shown that work is one of the few places where victims can find respite from their abuse and their income can give them independence from their attacker.

The modules are a series of texts and videos, with questions that respondents answer and suggested answers that people can use to approach the situation based on those answers. They are divided into four segments that last approximately 15 minutes. Livingston said the modules do not provide legal advice, but are designed to provide general answers to help people start looking for a solution. They may also be used by other organizations, including social service agencies, schools, churches, and individuals.

Livingston offers many suggestions for employers based on his research to help employees who are victims of domestic violence, including…

—enable workers to provide cover for co-workers who are victimized while they deal with their situation

— making talking to a domestic violence officer a safe thing to do

—train managers to spot the signs of intimate partner violence and help those who are being abused

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