Domestic Homicide in the Workplace: Lessons learnedfrom the Dupont/Daniel Case2007Provided by CREVAWCMay Not Represent the Viewsof the Office of the Chief Coroner
Definition of Domestic ViolenceDefinition of Domestic Violence• Domestic violence and abuse is any use of psychological,physical or sexual force, actual or threatened, in anintimate relationship.• Both women and men can be victims of domesticviolence, the overwhelming majority of this violenceinvolves men abusing women.• While most reported abuse occurs in intimateheterosexual relationships, it can occur in gay and lesbianrelationships as well.
Domestic ViolenceDomestic Violence• Occurs in a context where there is a pattern of assaultiveand controlling behaviour• May be physical, emotional, psychological and sexual innature• Violence is used to intimidate, humiliate or frightenvictims, or to make them feel powerless• May be a single act or a number of acts which may appearminor when viewed in isolation, but collectively form apattern that amounts to abuse
What Should We Have Learned about DVWhat Should We Have Learned about DVin the Past 30 Years?in the Past 30 Years?• Significant problem that impacts the whole community• Victims and perpetrators are very heterogeneous groupsthat defy stereotypes• Key strategies have to include safety, accountability andhealing• Coordination/integration of services is essential
What Should We Have Learned about DVWhat Should We Have Learned about DVin the Past 30 Years?in the Past 30 Years?• “Batterer program outcome is likely to be improved withswift and certain court referral, periodic court review orspecialized probation surveillance and on going riskmanagement.”Gondolf (2002) Batterer Intervention Systems. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Domestic Violence Policy & Protocols• Problem: Responsibility for safety generally put on thevictim and not the perpetrator• Important to engage with the abuser and hold himaccountable rather than excuse behaviour• Reprimands for abusive behaviours, constant monitoringand supervision, required attendance to battererscounselling program• Need for independent victim contact for accountability
Domestic Violence• Across all social classes• 37% of men in a male batterers program are white collarworkers (professionals, administrators, managers,salespersons)Gandolf (2002)• The danger of stalking & psychological abuse– 76% of femicide victims stalked by intimate partners inyear prior to murder– 87% of stalkers are male– Jealousy/possessiveness/controlNational Stalking Resource Center (SRC@ncvc.org)
Dynamics of Abusive Relationships• Occurs in brief dating relationships or long-termmarriages• Women representing a higher socio-economic status tendto cover up abuse to protect abuser and may use moreinformal supports (e.g. family and friends)
Factors that influence victim’s decision toterminate relationship:- feeling love or responsibility- lack of financial resources- fear of retaliation- keep marriage together for children- lack of support- fear of not being believed- abuser vowing to change
Patterns of disclosure• Avoidance as coping take longer to disclose and minimizeseriousness of abuse• Research indicates victims omit information whendisclosing to friends and/or family• Emotional abuse tends to be ignored or overlooked byothers
Patterns of disclosure• Much harder to disclose to authorities given the fear ofnot being believed, revictimization, and belief thatconsequences for abuser would not justify the risksassociated with disclosing• Lack of action promotes hopelessness
Domestic Homicides• Domestic Violence Death Review Committee (Office ofthe Chief Coroner)– Representatives with expertise in domestic violence– Review domestic homicide cases that occur in Ontario– Make recommendations aimed atpreventing deaths and reducingdomestic violenceWe speak for the deadto protect the living
Domestic Violence Death ReviewCommittee 2006• 113 incidences of domestic homicide between 2002 and2005• 63% homicides; 25% homicide/suicide; 10% attemptedhomicide/suicide; 2% attempted homicide and relatedhomicide• 95% of victims were female and 95% of perpetrators weremale• The main cause of death in these incidences was stabbing(33%)
Domestic Violence Death ReviewCommittee 2006• 47 cases reviewed between 2002 and 2006• 81% of cases indicated couple separated or planning toseparate• 77% of cases indicated a history of domestic violence• 68% of perpetrators considered depressed by family,friends, and other non-professionals
Domestic Violence Death ReviewCommittee 2006Who is aware of theabuse going on in theintimate relationship?(47 reviewed cases)Family 75%Friends 53%Police 41%Medical Personnel 28%Neighbours 19%Child Protection Services 19%Co-workers 15%Shelter/DV program 15%Clergy 4%
Several risk factors identified inreviewed cases1-3 factors9%7-9 factors13%4-6 factors6%10+factors72%1) Actual or pending separation2) History of Domestic Violence3) Perpetrator depressed in opinionsof non-professionals4) Escalation of violence5) Obsessive behaviour displayedby perpetrator6) Prior threats to kill victim7) Prior attempts to isolate victim8) Prior threats/attempts to commitsuicide9) Access to or possession of firearms10) Control of most or all of victim’s dailyactivities11) Excessive alcohol and/or drug use12) History of violence outside the family
Workplace Violence• National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health(NIOSH) recorded 9,937 workplace homicides between1980 and 1992 in the U.S. Approx. 800 workplacehomicides a year. (Jenkins 1996)• Female employees deal with sexual harassment anddomestic violence from (ex)partners.
Workplace Violence• Study in North Carolina (1977-1991)- 18% of occupational homicides had female victims.- Most occupational homicides involving women occurreddue to a dispute.- 75% of dispute-related homicides in the context ofestranged intimate relationships .(Moracco, Runyan, Loomis, Wolf, Napp, and Butts 2000)
2005 Study on domestic violence andemployment (Swanberg & Logan 2005)
Similarities between workplace harassment& workplace domestic violenceMany women don’t report harassment but endure itsilently• Fear of reprisals• Lack of information about their options• Fear will not be believed• Feelings of shame and embarrassmentWorkplace Harassment and Violence Report (CREVAWC, 2004)• Similar to why women don’t report domestic violence(
Similarities between workplace harassment &workplace domestic violenceNegative effects of workplace harassment• losing job• damaged relationship with co-workers• labeled as troublemaker• lose friends• stressWorkplace Harassment and Violence Report (CREVAWC, 2004)• Women experiencing domestic violenceexpress fear of similar impacts
Seven reasons why employers shouldaddress domestic violence1) Affects many employees2) Security and liability concern3) Performance and productivity concern4) Health care concern5) Management issue6) Taking action works7) Employers can make a difference(Family Violence Prevention Fund-endabuse.org/workplace)
Examples of strategic employer responses todomestic violence• Verizon Wireless– Internal efforts: Program available 24-hours a day withtrained human resource staff. Employees can ask forleave of absence, increased security at work, changeof shift or work location.– External efforts: Sponsorships for nationalconferences, public service announcements, collectsdonated phones to provide funding to shelters andother services
Examples of strategic employer responsesto domestic violence• Liz Claiborne Inc.– Internal efforts: educational outreach, services by EAP,and supports such as time off when needed.Developed Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT)with legal, security, and human resourcesrepresentatives.– External efforts: public education campaigns, joinedwith Marie Claire magazine and created articles topromote public dialogue about domestic violence
Lori Dupont-Marc Daniel Relationship - RiskFactors from Evidence1) History of violence and abusive behaviours outside ofthe family by perpetrator (including workplaceharassment)2) History of domestic violence3) Prior threats to kill victim “If I don’t have you, no onewill!”4) Prior threats to commit suicide by perpetrator and/orprior suicide attempts
Lori Dupont-Marc Daniel Relationship5) Prior attempts to isolate victim6) Controlled (or tried to) most of all of victim’s dailyactivities7) Prior hostage-taking and/or forcible confinement8) Escalation of violence9) Obsessive behaviour displayed by perpetrator10) Common-law relationship11) Presence of step-children
Lori Dupont-Marc Daniel Relationship12) Extreme minimization of assault history13) Actual or pending separation14) Depression of perpetrator – noticed by laypersonsand/or diagnosed by mental health professional15) New partner in victim’s life16) Failure to comply with authorities
Critical Events and Opportunities• Critical Events: Warning signs and risk factors that, eitherby themselves or as part of a pattern of behaviour, shouldraise possibility of danger• Opportunities: A chance to intervene and offerprotection for victim or accountability for perpetrator.Some opportunities are taken and some opportunities areoverlooked because of uncertainty or missing informationthat would have been accessible if sought.
Highlights of DV Recommendationsfrom Inquest Jury1. Training of employers and managers and, specificallywithin the hospital context, physician leaders, should beprovided to identify signs of abuse and to respondappropriately to employees/workers/staff who arevictims and to perpetrators of domestic violence.
Highlights of DV Recommendations fromInquest Jury2. All employees/physicians who are not directly involvedmay report a concern, but must report witnessedabusive or violent behaviour. Reports must be actedupon regardless of whether they are verbal or written.Steps taken toward incident resolution need to becommunicated to appropriate workplace parties (i.e.,complainant, workplace representative, JHSC, HumanResources, Occupational Health and Safety manager) in atimely manner.
Highlights of DV Recommendations fromInquest Jury3. Make available a resource list of appropriate and localreferral agencies.Formulate an organized response to direct threats ofdomestic violence, abuse, harassment, or otherlegitimate complaints that occur in the workplace.
Highlights of DV Recommendations fromInquest Jury4. Develop and implement a safety plan for the victim toensure that a number of safety/security measures are inplace for protection. Staff scheduling and work re-assignments and transfers should be accommodated insituations involving a component of domestic and/orworkplace violence.
Highlights of DV Recommendations fromInquest Jury5. There is a continuing need to better educate both thepublic and professionals who come into contact withvictims and perpetrators of domestic violence about thedynamics of domestic violence and the need to takeappropriate action with potential abusers, victims, andtheir children. In particular, this education has to includean awareness of the risk factors for potential lethalityand victims’ responses to abuse. The programmes haveto move beyond awareness to action about helpful andsafe interventions for victims and perpetrators.
Highlights of DV Recommendationsfrom Inquest Jury5. Model programmes such as Neighbours, Friends andFamilies (www.neighboursfriendsandfamilies.on.ca) maybe expanded in Ontario and be more directly inclusive ofthe role of the workplace. Skill building interventionsthat engage both professionals and non-professionals inpracticing what they might say and do in suchcircumstances should be utilized in training initiatives(e.g. interactive theatre such as “Missed Opportunities”).
Highlights of DV Recommendations fromInquest Jury6. It is recommended that the Health and SafetyAssociations (see schedule A) through consultation withthe Ontario Women’s Directorate develop educationalmaterial to provide support to all workplaces to train allemployees/workers/staff members about the dynamicsof domestic violence, abuse and harassment as well aswhat to do if faced with a situation where the violenceenters the workplace.
Highlights of DV Recommendationsfrom Inquest Jury6. Employees/workers/staff should understand that theyhave a responsibility to report abuse and any otherinformation that may be useful in preventing futureviolence. Workplaces should be encouraged to outline ina code of conduct how incidents should be reported andto whom they should be reported. This informationshould include the option of contacting the policedirectly, and should specifically direct that suchreporting of abuse ought not to be left as exclusively theresponsibility of the victim.
Highlights of DV Recommendations fromInquest Jury7. It is recommended that all health care disciplinesthroughout their pre-service and ongoing professionaldevelopment receive education in the dynamics ofdomestic violence and risk assessment and interventionstrategies. This training should include an understandingof lethality factors and the use of standardized riskassessment tools to use when members are treatingclients who may be victims or perpetrators of domesticviolence including those who present with symptoms ofdepression, especially following an intimate relationshipbreak-up and/or suicide attempt.
Highlights of DV Recommendations fromInquest Jury8. The Medical schools, The CPSO, The Ontario PsychiatricAssociation, The College of Psychologists, and theCollege of Nurses should give Continuing ProfessionalDevelopment credits for training in the areas of violencein the workplace, harassment, bullying and domesticviolence.Rationale: Through the evidence presented, it was stated thatphysicians are among those who are most probable to encountervictims of domestic violence. It is essential that they learn toidentify and clearly prescribe treatment alternatives and options tovictims and perpetrators.
Highlights of DV Recommendations fromInquest Jury9. It is recommended that there be a review of theOccupational Health and Safety Act to examine thefeasibility of including domestic violence (from someoneat the workplace), abuse and harassment as factorswarranting investigation and appropriate action by theMinistry of Labour when the safety and well being of anemployee is at issue.
Highlights of DV Recommendationsfrom Inquest Jury9. Specifically, the review should consider whether safetyfrom emotional or psychological harm, rather thanmerely physical harm, ought to be part of the mandateof the Ministry. In this regard, the review should bedirected to include an examination of the legislation andpolicies in place in other comparable jurisdictions, inCanada and elsewhere.