Menu
/REGISTER
PPB
Fielding
Montecito
Powershare
Loading...
You are here:  Home  >  Opinion  >  Editorials  >  Current Article

Editorial: Domestic violence is a business issue, too

By   /   Friday, November 11th, 2011  /   1 Comment

We’ve been reminded recently of the tremendous toll that domestic violence takes on our region’s families and our economy and of the need for businesses to participate in dealing with this issue.

    Print       Email

We’ve been reminded recently of the tremendous toll that domestic violence takes on our region’s families and our economy and of the need for businesses to participate in dealing with this issue.

The latest reminder came  from Ventura County’s Interface Children and Family Services. Faced with the sudden loss of funding for a very successful intervention program, the nonprofit has launched a campaign to replace some $500,000 a year in lost state funding with private donations and an emergency reserve. In Santa Barbara County, Domestic Violence Solutions has launched a media campaign to raise awareness and is looking for volunteers and additional funding, said Richard Kravetz, executive director.

Domestic violence costs California $2.7 billion annually in direct costs and it takes an even bigger toll when you count absenteeism and lost productivity.

“With economic pressures of housing and unemployment families tend to get stressed out,” Erik Sternad, executive director of Interface, said.

Until recently, state funding was available to assist Interface in creating a small but effective intervention team that could work alongside law enforcement and public safety officials to intervene and get victims of domestic violence a fast track to services including emergency shelter. That funding dried up suddenly this fall, but Interface has plugged the gap temporarily with emergency funding. It’s now going out for a permanent source of funding and Sternad thinks that in the future locally based programs will bear most of the burden for dealing with domestic violence in our communities.

The Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention Center of San Luis Obispo County, the county’s only sexual assault crisis center, is largely funded with private money and is  counting on a Nov. 19 fundraiser at the Edna Valley Vineyard  to enable it to deliver services free of charge to that county.

For employers, dealing with domestic violence is more than just writing checks, Sternad said.  Employers who witness employees who come to work with signs of abuse or injury due to domestic violence may be tempted to ignore warning signs or anticipate that things will get better over time. That’s usually just wishful thinking. Domestic violence often goes unreported, it leads to absenteeism and lost productivity and it can spill over into the workplace if it is ignored.

    Print       Email

1 Comment

  1. Judy Egenolf says:

    Henry, thank you very much for shining this light on the importance of safe houses and services for families experiencing violence. Frank Ochoa lamented the need for DVS to eliminate its 52 week counseling program for men. This is a 2 year old budget cut! Frank says it was the most effective program he’s seen and we now have little to offer male perpetrators of domestic violence. The loss of funding and resulting program cuts continues. Again, many thanks for trying to help.

You might also like...

Our view: Cal Poly SLO should diversify by taking local students

Read More →