What To Look For

As co-workers, friends and family, there are flags and warning signs that can alert us to potential issues and so we can be supportive. The spectrum below indicates 4 main areas but nothing is carved in stone and we must all use our own judgment in supporting those who count on us for a safe workplace.

Healthy

Partner

  • Supportive
  • Non-Interfering

Friend / Coworker

  • Calm, Steady & In Control
  • Performing Well
  • Behaving Ethically & Morally
  • Socially Active

Your Response

  • Engage other co-workers
  • Be approachable
  • Practice active listening
  • Note usual co-worker behaviours
  • Demonstrate empathy & respect
  • Use positivity
  • Reduce stigma
  • Advocate for a healthy workplace

Reacting

Partner

  • Interfering with transportation
  • Hiding or stealing ID cards
  • Excessive calls, texts, emails
  • Questioning co-workers

Friend / Coworker

  • Often late for work
  • Nervous, anxious
  • Hiding injuries
  • Decreased productivity
  • Poor concentration
  • Occasional loss of emotional control

Your Response

  • Monitor behaviours & note changes
  • Actively listen to concerns
  • Identify unhealthy situations
  • Offer assistance with tasks
  • Be empathetic
  • Offer to intercede
  • Consult with supervisor/representative
  • Encourage resources

Concern

Partner

  • Interfering at workplace
  • Threatening deportation
  • Deceiving co-workers
  • Verbally abusive to employee(s)

Friend / Coworker

  • Missing work
  • Overlooking appearance details
  • Forgetting important things
  • Impaired decision making
  • Increased accidental injuries
  • Nervous in partner’s presence

Your Response

  • Be vigilant
  • Note unacceptable behaviour
  • Involve management & supervisor
  • Empathize
  • Respect employee accommodations
  • Maintain contact with co-worker
  • Be supportive of co-worker
  • Minimize rumours

Crisis

Partner

  • Physically restraining employee
  • Threatening employee(s)
  • Destroying property
  • Physically harming employee(s)

Friend / Coworker

  • Avoiding or withdrawing
  • Neglecting hygiene
  • Memory lapses
  • Cannot perform duties
  • Injuries
  • Loss of control

Your Response

  • Be vigilant
  • Know workplace safety plans
  • Involve management & supervisor
  • Sustain co-worker contact
  • Empathize and be accepting
  • Support co-worker with tasks
  • Respect any medical limitations
  • Include co-worker in activities
  • Encourage others

What You Can Do

Talking To Your Co-Workers

Co-workers who engage other co-workers and are approachable contribute strong threads to the social fabric and are the most likely people for the employee to disclose domestic violence.  Employees who practice active listening and openness are approachable and help monitor workplace wellness.  They can note usual co-worker behaviours and notice changes.  Demonstrate empathy & respect; Reinforce employees who do the same.  Positivity helps productivity.  Encourage employees to reduce stigma and to advocate for a healthy workplace.

Observe

Employees can also monitor co-worker behaviours & note changes. They can be encouraged to actively listen to concerns and identify potentially unhealthy situations.  Offer assistance with tasks.  Empathy will be very helpful to the entire workplace.  Employees can offer to intercede with management on behalf of the stressed employee.  Regardless, employees need to consult with supervisor or appropriate representative.  A peer encouraged resource tends to carry credibility.

Carry On

Employees should know workplace safety plans. They must involve management & supervisor with observations or concerns.  Support the co-worker with tasks and respect any medical limitations.  Continue to include co-worker in activities.  Encourage others who might be finding coping with the situation difficult.  We are in this together.

Stay Vigilant

Co-workers should be vigilant.  If they note unacceptable employee behaviour, it is important to involve management & supervisor.  Empathy and respect for employee accommodations will be very helpful.  If appropriate and safe, employees can be encouraged to maintain contact with the employee.  Being supportive of their co-worker and minimize rumours will help to direct resources to where they are needed most.