Focus of today’s discussion will be on:
• Victimization outside the workplace
• Facts about domestic violence
• How employees can be protected
• Resources in the community
Crime victimization - types
• Physical (Assault, including sexual assault and hate
• Verbal/Psychological (Stalking, bullying & other forms of
• Financial (theft/damage of property, money scams)
• Domestic Violence (which can encompass all of the
• Employment Discrimination
Impact of victimization on the
• Decreased employee productivity
• Increased medical costs/turnover
• Costs of re-training replacements
• Costs associated with heightened security
• Costs associated with Temp Agencies
• Impact on morale/sense of security
• Increased anxiety/stress
Organizations designed to
Department of Labor divisions, which include:
• Division of Labor Standards
• Bureau of Public Works
• Worker Protection Bureau
Division of Human Rights
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
Crime Victims’ Assistance Programs
Domestic violence statistics
• In 2013, there were approximately 960,000 domestic
violence incidents, amounting to $5.8 billion in healthcare
• Only about 1 in 4 women (and 1 in 6 men) report
domestic violence to the police.
• Young women (20-25) are at highest risk for intimate
Reference: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, June 2013
Domestic Violence and the Court
• Domestic violence victims can call 911 and file a complaint with the
local police on the day of the incident. Some victims end up in the
Emergency Room, and later go to police to give a statement.
• Many victims either do not file a complaint with the police or they
refuse to go forward with criminal prosecution for whatever reason.
• Domestic violence victims can also go to Family Court to request
Orders of Protection and to file child support & visitation petitions.
They can also choose to file in both Family Court and Criminal Court.
• There are 39 Domestic Violence Courts throughout New York State,
which work closely with advocates, the Family Violence Unit, and
police to move these cases through the system as quickly as possible.
What is the employer’s
• Public employers must adhere to the Dept. of
Labor’s Workplace Violence Prevention
Requirements and have a Safety Plan in place.
Training must be provided yearly.
• Private employers are responsible for
maintaining a safe workplace that adheres to
Domestic Violence &
• Many victims won’t reveal to their bosses that they are victims of domestic
violence for fear of being fired.
• An employer cannot discriminate against, fire, or refuse to hire a DV victim
based on this criterion alone.*
• An employer can be held liable if an employee is victimized while on the job,
if they were aware of the situation, but they took no action, or if they did not
put a safety plan in place. (See OSHA General Duty clause.)
• Blatant discrimination on the part of an employee against a DV victim can be
difficult to prove. For this reason, many DV victims prefer to remain silent, or
to find other employment. This can be very disruptive to a family.
*NY Exec Law 296(1)(a)
Domestic Violence & Discrimination
• If a victim must miss days at work to testify at a trial, meet
with an attorney, obtain an order of protection, etc., their
employer cannot fire them on the basis of this alone. If
this occurs, a victim may file a complaint with the NYS
Division of Human Rights (Albany office: 518-474-
2705/07 or go to: http://www.dhr.ny.gov/how-file-
• It’s important for a victim to adhere to their employer’s
policies regarding personal and sick time if they choose
not to inform their employer that they are a DV victim.
Resources for Victims
• DV Shelters/Emergency housing
• Legal Aid attorneys, Ulster County Assistant District
• Crime Victims’ Assistance Program
• Employee Assistance Programs/Counseling
• Police/Sheriff/State Trooper
• Hospitals/SANE Unit
Victims can receive:
• Unemployment benefits (in most cases) if they must leave their jobs
as the result of a domestic violence incident.***
• Emergency housing assistance (through Ulster County Department
of Social Services) if they qualify.
• Reimbursement through the Office of Victims Services to recover lost
wages, medical expenses, counseling, damaged/stolen essential
• Notification when a perpetrator is served with an Order of Protection
or when he/she is released from jail.
***NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, “Unemployment Benefits for Domestic Violence Victims: FAQs”
Victims have the right to:
• Receive a copy of the Domestic Incident Report on the
day that such an incident is reported to the police.
• Complete a Victim Impact Statement for the court if they
• Choose not to go forward with prosecution on a case. In
some instances, however, a perpetrator will be
prosecuted with or without their cooperation (e.g. child
sexual assaults, where a felony has been perpetrated.)
Signs of Victimization
• Absenteeism/repeated tardiness
• Reduced productivity
• Excessive use of medical services
• Changes in behavior (avoidance, isolation,
hyper-vigilence, anxiety, tearfulness, anger)
• Bruises, welts or other unusual marks
What can co-workers do?
• Be supportive and non-judgmental.
• Acknowledge feelings of guilt, fear, grief, denial, etc.
• Recognize that it can be difficult for a victim of domestic
violence to leave an abusive relationship.
• Don’t share information without that person’s permission.
• Refer them to an appropriate agency (hotline, victim’s
shelter, police, crime victims) if they ask for help.
What can employers do?
• Be supportive of victims of violence.
• Have an Employee Safety Plan in place.
• Create a Domestic Violence in the Workplace policy. (Only about 30% of US
companies have such a policy in place.**)
• Allow employees to flex their time or change their work schedule.
• Allow for paid/unpaid leave.
• Provide security escort to a victim’s car if requested.
• Create a sick bank which is accessible to victims of violence.
• Provide training to Managers, Supervisors, Security, and Human Resources
** Society for Human Resource Management.
Crime Victims Assistance Program
• Funded by the Office of Victims Services and the U.S. Department of
• Begun in 1979 in Ulster County.
• Provides advocacy for all victims of crime.
• Provides a 24-hour hotline manned by trained volunteers.
• Volunteer training (Rape Crisis Counselor Certification) 2x/year.
• Accompaniments to police stations, courtrooms, and the hospital.
• Referral of victims to appropriate service providers.
• Assistance with VIS, OVS reimbursement, and NY-Alert registration.
• Priority is given to the needs of the victim.
Crime Victims Assistance Program (cont’d)
• Collaboration with local agencies (Family of Woodstock,
RUPCO, DSS, Child & Family Advocacy Center, District
Attorney’s Office, Police Departments)
• Bilingual (English/Spanish) advocacy available.
• Presentations in the community on Teen Dating Violence
Prevention, Healthy Relationships and Sexual Assault
• Member of Domestic Violence Council, DWI Task Force,
Elder Abuse Task Force.
• Support groups for women
• Domestic Violence Forum – October 17
from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm, SUNY Ulster
• Let’s Talk About It II – Meeting the needs
of underserved victims – November 5, from
9 am – 11:30 am – Fair Street Church
List of Resources:
• Family of Woodstock (www.familyofwoodstockinc.org)
• Washbourne House (DV shelter). Hotline: 338-2370
• Crime Victims Assistance Program: 340-3443 (Office)
FB page: http://www.facebook.com/uccvap (English)
FB page: http://www.facebook.com/uccvaps (Spanish)
• Crime Victims 24-hour Hotline: 340-3442
List of Resources (cont’d)
• Ulster county District Attorney: 340-3280
• Family Court: 340-3600
• Legal Services of the Hudson Valley: 877-574-8529
• OSHA Regulations: https://www.osha.gov/law-regs.html
• Ulster County Human Rights Commission: 340-3147
(provides NYS Division of Human Rights complaint form)