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Stalking and Violence: More Common Than You Think

Originally posted: August 24, 2010 on TrishMcFarlane.com

When you embark on a career in Human Resources, you will soon find that stalking and violence are closer than you think.  No matter what industry you are part of, it’s there.  And, contrary to popular belief, it’s not just stalking and violence against women.  There are also quite a few reported cases against men.  And, many cases are never reported, so it’s challenging to really talk about the commonality of the problem.

I recently read a post by my good friend Sarah White that addressed the very personal side of this issue.  You can read her post HERE.  It’s not a post to judge.  It’s a post that demonstrates that these situations can happen to anyone.  And, people often suffer in silence.  Like Sarah, I had a situation where I was stalked for about nine months.  It happened when I was in my late teens.  It’s nothing I want to get into the details of but suffice to say that it involved looking over my shoulder at every turn and fearing this person would make good on his threats to hurt me and to hurt himself.  It did not end until he did hurt himself and I finally told my parents.  They helped me report the problem so that the person could get help.

As HR professionals, when faced with these situations in the workplace we need to be prepared to help the employee.  Each situation is unique and you may need to be prepared to contact the local police, your organization’s security team, and refer the employee to EAP for further assistance.  Here are a few other resources that you may find helpful to have at your fingertips:

  • National Center for Victims of Crime Helpline–  You can call them at 1-800-FYI-CALL, Monday through Friday from 8:30 am- 8:30 pm EST or via e-mail at gethelp@ncvc.org.
  • Find sanctuary, resources, and community at StalkingVictims.com.
  • Sometimes it’s a case of domestic violence spilling over into the workplace.  For great information and safety training, I highly recommend connecting with Larry Kaminer, President and CEO of the Personal Safety group. Larry has been gracious enough to guest post for me last fall right before the holiday shopping season.  He provided safety tips for us then and he is certainly a great resource to have if you are a HR professional who may need guidance.  Tell him I sent you.

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