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Fact Sheet 7: Being A Good Corporate Citizen
The purpose of this fact sheet is to suggest some things that employers, unions and employees can do to help eliminate family violence. We all have a social responsibility to prevent family violence. This fact sheet will profile "better practices" that others are using to assist victims and become good corporate citizens in the area of family violence.
Perhaps you can adopt some of these initiatives... or come up with ideas of your own.
Many businesses have found ways to become "good corporate citizens." The following are examples of how some employers have chosen to demonstrate their social responsibility. We have divided the employer initiatives into three categories.
1. Donate Services or Products
• Grocery stores could donate goods to local transition homes such as food or even toothpaste!
• Hotels could offer free rooms to victims of abuse, for example, when there are no vacancies at the local transition house or other agencies that provide shelter.
• Hotels could donate used bed linen, spreads, and towels to the local transition house.
• Kennels or veterinarians could cover the expenses of boarding pets while victims of abuse establish a safe place to live. (Did you know that victims of abuse sometimes delay seeking shelter because the abuser has threatened to kill or harm the pets or farm animals?)
• Storage companies could offer free storage to people in the process of leaving abusive relationships.
• Daycare programs could arrange to care for children of staff who have lived with family violence at reduced rates.
• Telecommunication companies can provide free cell phones to victims of abuse to help them access community resources or emergency services, especially if they are restricted in using their home phone.
2. Sponsor COMMUNITY Programs
The Body Shop
Liz Claiborne Inc.
Liz Clairborne, Inc. is another example of good corporate citizenry. The company makes it clear that family violence cannot be tolerated. "Love is Not Abuse" is a section on the Liz Claiborne Website, which provides information on family violence for the general public. The company launched the Women"s Work program in October 1991 as a way to recognize the people who had made the company a success over the years. The program began as a series of community-based, public art projects designed to heighten awareness of, and encourage positive social change on issues of particular concern to women and their families. The site also has online handbooks for women, teenagers, and parents. Liz Claiborn held a "Stop the Violence" film contest, where people could submit short films on the topic of family violence.
ADT Security Services
3. Good Samaritan Activities
• Organize a summer BBQ or a winter bowling tournament for kids staying at a transition house.
• Hold a dress down day and collect donations for charity.
• Advocate for family violence programs and practices.
• Support union members who are leaving a violent family relationship.
• Support a local transition house.
• Donate part of your yearly union membership dues to help fund family violence and the workplace programming.
C: What employees can do
Employees do not have to wait for the employers to take the lead - they can come up with their own ideas about how to respond to family violence.
• Staff can donate business clothes to organizations that help women re-enter the workforce.
• Casual Friday monies can be collected and donated to help fund or establish transition shelters.
What are you doing? Please send us a letter or email and we will include it on our web site.