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Release Date: 04.24.2007 | Location: All Metro Atlanta | Organization: Partnership Against Domestic Violence

‘Man Kills Wife, Self, One Other at Work' -- Who Wants to Read This Headline About Their Company?

When domestic violence follows a woman to work, the costs can be staggering

ATLANTA – Metro Atlanta companies will have an opportunity to learn how to address the sensitive and challenging human resources issue of domestic violence in the workplace at the April 26 conference hosted by Partnership Against Domestic Violence.

"Please don't beat me in front of the boys," Susan Still pleaded with her husband, Ulner Lee Still. But it was too late. Her 13-year-old son was already recording the 50-minute verbal and physical assault – forced by his father to film it. The story of Susan Still and the video record of her abuse will be shared by Lisa Bloch Rodwin, Erie County, NY, assistant district attorney, at PADV's "When Domestic Violence Goes to Work" conference on April 26 at Atlanta's downtown Loudermilk Center. Rodwin successfully prosecuted the history-making case against Susan Still's husband, Ulner Lee Still. Still was sentenced to 36 years in prison. In its fifth annual conference, PADV in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Labor is highlighting the case of Susan Still because her employer did all of the right things to support Still, and helped the prosecution win its case.

"When domestic violence follows a woman to work, the human and financial costs can be staggering. Ninety-four percent of corporate security directors surveyed rank intimate partner violence as a major security problem in their company," said Cathy Willis Spraetz, chief executive officer for PADV. "More than 70 percent of businesses have no formal policy that addresses workplace violence, and yet 64 percent of employed domestic violence survivors indicated that their work performance was impacted by violence. There is an enormous opportunity for businesses to bridge this gap and avoid deadly and costly consequences," continued Spraetz.

As a main component of the conference, PADV has also commissioned a series of innovative training presentations – The Triangle of Abuse. One sketch professionally performed by local actors will examine how difficult it is to maintain a functioning professional life when psychologically terrorized, stalked, and physically abused. Two additional sketches explore how a well-trained management team can protect a company's financial performance, productivity, and employees. Special attention will be given to how supervisors can hold batterers accountable for using company resources to commit acts of domestic violence. Theater-based training is proving to be one of the more effective ways to educate and initiate behavior change. Following each sketch, a cross-disciplinary panel will discuss legal obligations and risks, security options, human resource protocols, and policies that support domestic violence survivors and hold batterers accountable.

In Georgia, 30 percent of women and girls will be abused at least once by their partners. Consider these facts:

  • The CDC estimates that the annual cost of domestic violence exceeds $8.3 billion (2003 dollars) due to lost productivity and medical care expenses.

  • Domestic violence is the leading causes of injuries for girls and women in Georgia.

  • In Georgia, 107 people died as a result of domestic violence in Georgia.

  • Obvious warning signs of domestic abuse can often be missed by workplace colleagues: absenteeism at work, tardiness and leaving early from work, frequent personal phone calls at work, clothing that is inappropriate for season (i.e. turtle necks or long sleeves in the summer to hide injuries).

About PADV
PADV's mission is to support women and their children in their efforts to live violence free. For more than thirty years, PADV, the largest nonprofit domestic violence organization in Georgia, has provided professional, compassionate, and empowering support to battered women and their children in metro Atlanta. To learn more this conference, domestic violence or PADV, please call 404.870.9605 or visit www.padv.org.

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Conference sponsors include the Macy's fund of the Federated Department Stores Foundation, Verizon Wireless and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP.

Contact Info

Contact Name: Susan Rodriguez

Company: Partnership Against Domestic Violence

Phone: 404.870.9605

Cell: 404.273.0008

E-mail: susan@padv.org