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Study of the Effects of Intimate Partner Violence on the Workplace

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2009
121 pages
This study of the effects of intimate partner violence (IPV) on the workplace examined the prevalence of IPV among employed individuals, how IPV affected the personal and professional well-being of employees, its costs for employers, and the interactions between employed IPV victims and their coworkers.
The study--which encompassed approximately 2,400 employed men and women in 3 companies in 39 States--found significant effects of IPV on employees and employers. Approximately 10 percent of employees reported experiencing IPV in the past year, and an additional 19 percent of men and 30 percent of women had experienced IPV in their lifetimes. Just over 18 percent of currently victimized employees reported experiencing some form of IPV on work premises. The negative effects on employees currently experiencing IPV were depression, low self-esteem, economic difficulties, and family-work conflict. For lifetime IPV victims, there were indications that their mental states and job performance continued to be adversely affected. There was preliminary evidence that current IPV victims had lower salaries than nonvictims. There was also strong evidence that employer costs increased due to employees experiencing IPV. The study phase that focused on the interactions between IPV victims and their coworkers (n=2,000 men and women) found that approximately half had discussed their IPV with a coworker but without going into details. These discussions were most likely to occur when it was evident that the IPV was affecting work performance, when emotional support was needed, or when time off was requested. IPV victims who made such disclosures to coworkers reported feeling more hopeful about their futures, safer, more supported, and better able to concentrate at work than IPV victims who did not disclose their victimization to coworkers; however, disclosure of IPV to coworkers and/or employers did not eliminate victim's significant work distraction or absenteeism. 13 tables and 91 references

Date Published: May 1, 2009