Coordinated Community Responses to Domestic Violence in Six Communities: Beyond the Justice System. The Business Community

10/01/1996

The business community offers another avenue to help reduce violence against women, both in their role as community opinion leaders and, for large companies, in their capacity as service providers through employee assistance programs, health insurance, and other benefits. In Northern St. Louis County, both Range Women's Advocates and the chief judge's Anti-Violence Council are beginning to work with business leaders to stimulate their involvement in both of these ways. Baltimore's DVCC is funding a manual for employers on violence against women in the workplace to raise awareness about the issue in their community. In San Francisco, the Domestic Violence Consortium established Partners Ending Domestic Abuse, a group of professional women, to raise private donations for domestic violence. This collaboration resulted in $40,000 in grants to Consortium member agencies in 1994.

Although not a part of this study, the director of the employee assistance program at a major corporation in New England has done several things to involve the business community in fighting domestic violence. He has developed and implemented model policies and procedures for his own company to help its employees affected by domestic violence; he has used his own company as a model to stimulate other major corporations in the state to develop similar programs; and he has challenged chief executive officers of major corporations to become publicly involved in the issue. One result is that each of the battered women's shelters in the state now has at least one major corporate sponsor.