See the Signs, Speak Out, Become an Upstander.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Today, the Ohio Domestic Violence Network and the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence debut a new online training program designed for employees to intervene in domestic and sexual violence situations in the workplace. This free program provides materials for small and large businesses to train employees how to have conversations that could make a difference in the workplace, in their homes, and in their communities.

“If we can work with employers to provide employees with knowledge and skills to interrupt behavior at workplaces that leads to domestic and sexual violence, imagine the positive shift in workplace culture” stated Nancy Neylon, Executive Director of the Ohio Domestic Violence Network. “Most workplace violence has its roots in domestic or sexual violence, stalking or harassment.”

The training can be taken individually on-line during a break or lunch or at a staff meeting. Training can also be facilitated by human resources professionals by downloading free training materials and hosting a course.  Ideally, companies will reach out to their local domestic violence program or rape crisis center for a content expert to be on site to assist with the training and provide local resources. 

"As we've learned from high profile cases in Ohio over the last two years, we need to equip our communities with skills to intervene and be an active bystander,” offered Katie Hanna, Executive Director of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence.  “Through this project, we are excited to offer new resources to businesses, partnering with their state coalition, local rape crisis center and domestic violence agency, to provide education to employees about how to safely and effectively intervene and prevent sexual and intimate partner violence." 

The Ohio Domestic Violence Network and the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence were guided by domestic violence and rape prevention experts from across Ohio as well as corporate volunteers who lent their expertise as to what would be effective for a workplace. Volunteers included representatives from Cardinal Health, Huntington Bank, Safelite Auto, Ohio Health, Forest City Enterprises, Warren and Associates LLC, The Attorney General of Ohio and the Lake County Department of Development Disabilities.                            

Rebecca Cline, Prevention Programs Director at the Ohio Domestic Violence Network is sure that by helping employers and employees interrupt the precursors to domestic and sexual violence such as sexist jokes and comments or using company technology to monitor a dating or domestic partner, we can create workplace cultures that promote healthy relationships and prevent violence – not just in the workplace – but everywhere.

The See the Signs, Speak Out training program was created with the generous support of the Avon Foundation for Women, and the urgent need for bystander training identified through the results of the Avon Foundation-funded NO MORE Survey on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault: Experiences and Attitudes Among Teens and Adults. Two other projects were funded: The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, focusing on children; and JWI, focusing on teens.

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