MOUNT VERNON — New Directions, the domestic abuse shelter of Knox County, has recognized October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In addition to the vigil held at Public Square on Tuesday, and more events to follow this month, the agency held a breakfast Thursday for local employers to provide information about domestic violence in the workplace.
The 50 Knox County businesses with the most employers were invited to the breakfast at The Alcove restaurant. Following the breakfast, there was a summary viewing of the documentary film “Telling Amy’s Story.”
The film tells the true life story of domestic violence and the November 2001 Pennsylvania homicide of Amy Homan McGee. New Directions offered to lend the DVD to businesses and it will also be viewed later this month at the library.
New Directions DELTA coordinator Christina Bernard stated, “Domestic violence either hides behind closed doors or in plain sight.”
She noted the impact that domestic violence had at Amy McGee’s workplace and then provided additional information that could be helpful to Knox County employers.
Bernard explained that domestic violence affects the workplace in three ways: Employee health and safety, decreased productivity through lost days and hours, and increased health care costs.
Over 75 percent of domestic violence perpetrators use workplace resources to communicate, check up on, or threaten their victims. And 44 percent of respondents to a 2005 survey said that domestic violence affected them at work, most often because a co-worker was a victim.
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