What can my organization do?
Financial insecurity is a key barrier for someone who is being abused. Due to financial constraints, they often stay in or return to abusive relationships. Many businesses have found ways to be good corporate citizens. The following are examples of how some employers have chosen to demonstrate their social responsibility and invest in the cause of preventing domestic or intimate partner violence (DIPV).
If considering supporting a non-profit organization, it is important to first contact the organization to ensure the proposed initiative or method of support meets their organizational needs. The following examples of employer initiatives have been divided into three categories.
1. Donate Services or Products
If the business offers a specific product or service, there are several ways to be a good corporate citizen:
- List phone numbers and other resources for individuals who have been subjected to abuse in a newsletter, blog, or website.
- Donate supplies to local non-profits helping individuals fleeing violence such as food, personal hygiene items, or bed linens, depending on the need identified.
- If a business does not offer a service or product that could help an individual who has been subjected to violence, they could donate the products or services of another organization or company.
- Hotels might offer free rooms to individuals who have been subjected to abuse.
- Hotels might donate bed linens, spreads, and towels to local transition houses.
- Taxi companies might provide free rides to people in crisis who are leaving an abusive relationship and need transportation to a safe shelter. Free ride programs could be co-ordinated with police and transition houses.
- Law firms might offer pro bono services to individuals who have been subjected to abuse or to shelters.
- Kennels or veterinary clinics might offer to cover the expenses of boarding pets while individuals who have been subjected to abuse establish a safe place to live.
- Storage companies might offer free storage to people in the process of leaving abusive relationships. Moving companies could also offer free moving services.
- Cell phone companies might offer free cell phones/minutes to individuals who have been subjected to abuse to help them access community resources or emergency services.
- Donate supplies to reduce costs associated with fundraising events for local non-profits that support individuals who have been subjected to abuse.
2. Sponsor a community program by providing a cash donation or use of space. A workplace might consider sponsoring or donating to one of the following organizations:
- Transition houses
- Women’s shelters
- Drop-in centres for at-risk youth
- Fergusson Foundation/Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research
- Sexual Violence New Brunswick
3. Volunteer Time by:
- Contacting a local transition house to organize or support an event for children who have been exposed to domestic or intimate partner violence (e.g. summer BBQ or winter bowling tournament).
- Holding a casual day at work and collecting donations for a local organization helping individuals who have been subjected to abuse.
- Attending local fundraisers for organizations supporting individuals who have been subjected to abuse.
- Providing time off for employees interested in volunteering for an organization that assists individuals who have been subjected to abuse.