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City makes move to increase awareness of domestic violence

SF Public Press
 — Oct 15 2012 - 3:54pm

Supervisor Eric Mar Monday unveiled new efforts to raise awareness about domestic violence. Working with the Department on the Status of Women, Mar focused on working through the city’s workforce to educate the public and to help those city employees who are victims themselves.

Mar is proposing a resolution calling on the Department on the Status of Women to distribute resource guides on domestic violence to everyone who works for the city. The department will also work with the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families to share information on relationship abuse with youth service providers.

And the city will work on putting into place a policy for helping victims of domestic abuse who are part of the city workforce. Mar will ask the Budget and Legislative Analyst office compare a draft plan developed by the Department on the Status of Women with that of other cities. He is also working on an ordinance that would enforce the new plan.

Under the new policy, workers will receive proper training on identifying and reporting signs of domestic abuse. Before introducing this plan, the city did not have a policy on addressing domestic violence in the work place.

“But we did have a zero tolerance policy of violence in work place such as employee on employee violence,” Emily Murase, executive director for the Department on the Status of Women.

She said victims of domestic violence have a difficult time concentrating at work, which could cause them to lose their jobs and become more isolated. Without the proper training to spot the signs of abuse, these incidents could be unreported.

Andrea Shorter, chair of the Justice and Courage Oversight Panel, said her department developed the work place policy on domestic violence based on a variety of models.

The idea of these policies is to give people better access to domestic violence services in San Francisco, Mar said.