PITTSBURGH, PA — What causes American businesses to pay an estimated three to five billion dollars a year in medical expenses and costs for lost wages, sick leave, absenteeism and lowered productivity1? The answer may surprise some business leaders. It's the effect of domestic violence on the workplace.
"None of Our Business" is a new training program that depicts the impact of domestic violence on the workplace and provides strategies for preventing and addressing this crucial issue in the work setting.
Verizon Wireless, a corporate supporter of programs that help prevent domestic violence, underwrote the production of the program and associated training tools. The program originally aired on Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) in Minnesota last year. Now, Verizon Wireless is offering the program in western Pennsylvania.
"While many people recognize that domestic violence is one of the most pressing issues of our time, most business leaders have yet to realize the impact such violence has on the workplace," said Roger Tang, president-Ohio/Pennsylvania Region, for Verizon Wireless. "We underwrote this important production with the hope that it will raise awareness of this issue and elevate the discussion of what businesses can do about it. While the program launched in Minnesota last year, we are expanding it to western Pennsylvania and have provided to local domestic violence programs the materials needed to incorporate this into their regular training programs."
The "None of Our Business" program introduction and six workplace scenes tell the fictional story of Patrice Gleason whose co-workers gradually come to understand that she is a victim of domestic violence. The program dramatizes the impacts of domestic violence on the workplace-Gleason's many absences; the time, additional workload, curiosity and frustration that consumes her colleagues; and ultimately, the costly distraction of the crisis for both her employer and her husband's employer.
The "None of Our Business" training materials contain a DVD or VHS tape of the TPT television program that is divided into chapters and supplemented with special features. A companion training manual includes two training formats: a brief 90-minute session and an in-depth three-hour session. The training materials can be customized to reflect each company's policies and procedures for what actions they would like their managers and employees to take in response to a domestic violence situation.
Companies interested in raising awareness of domestic violence in the workplace can schedule a training session by contacting any of the following:
- Alle-Kiski HOPE Center, 724-224-1100 (Michelle Bond)
- Crisis Center North, 412-364-6738 (Grace Coleman)
- Womansplace, 412-678-4620 (Laurie MacDonald)
- Women's Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, 412-687-8017 (Janet Scott)
For more information about the program contact Laura Merritt at 614-560-2605.
1Safe at Work Coalition, 2003 and Bureau of National Affairs, 1990
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 43.8 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To receive broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
About None of Our Business
"None of Our Business" was originally created in 1997 as theatre-based training by Marysue Moses and Alfred Harrison of Theatre at Work, Inc. of Saint Paul, Minnesota. The play's development was commissioned by the Workplace Action Team of The Initiative for Violence-Free Families and Communities in Ramsey County, Minnesota.