Domestic Spillover – How it relates to Workplace Violence.
“It’s Not Going To Happen To Me” is a poor security plan!!!
Since founding the Shaffer Security Group in 2015, Shaffer has worked with many organizations not only to conduct security assessments but also to develop and implement security solutions through training in active shooter response and workplace violence prevention.
Shaffer notes that there are some clear distinctions in culture across industries that allow some to be better prepared for a violent situation in the workplace. He notes, “Most manufacturing facilities and large workshops do a fantastic job of making ‘Safety First.’ They often post large signs to remind their employees to ‘Think Safety’ as they count the number of days without a work-related injury. However, most non-manufacturing firms, such as corporate offices, law firms, [or] large data processing centers do not feel that safety is all that necessary, when in fact it is essential.”
There appears to be a pervasive attitude in industries without a baked-in safety and security culture, with both leadership and employees focusing on physical security only after a critical incident occurs. Shaffer frames this attitude simply: “Everyone thinks, ‘it’s not going to happen to me.’”
The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that approximately 2 million people will be victims of nonfatal workplace violence each year, with about 1,000 people dying due to a violent incident at work. While these numbers suggest that a violent workplace event is unlikely, that unlikelihood does not excuse employers from prioritizing the security of their employees, regardless of industry. Shaffer says that “the safety and well-being of employees needs to become a communicated corporate value.”
“It’s Not Going To Happen to Me” is not a good security plan, states Shaffer.
Firms Need to Develop a “Portal” in which their Employees can reports incidents of Domestic Violence or Abuse.
Another hurdle employers have to overcome is the fact their employees who are victims of domestic abuse are frequently reluctant to share their circumstances. This reluctance is driven, in part, by the stigma associated with being a domestic abuse victim. Even worse, the victim may actually believe that their abuse is deserved.
Companies need to implement a workplace violence policy that includes language addressing domestic spillover is a great way to start. Regular review of this policy with employees can help to alleviate concerns.
These policies must be endorsed and communicated from the top down. For the policies to have real effect, there must not only be C-suite buy-in and implementation, but the employees must sincerely believe that their workplace is a safe haven.
Some questions for security leaders to ask themselves:
- Does our organization have a mechanism by which the victim can report domestic abuse?
- Are our reception, security, human resources, and legal staff aware of domestic spillover threats? Could they recognize those threats if they walked in the door?
- Does our organization have intervention-capable employees trained to help diffuse conflicts or violence?
- What are our legal requirements to protect our employees?
Recognizing Pre-Incident Indicators to Violence could save your life!
“The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence” is a nonfiction, self-help book written by Gavin de Becker. The book demonstrates how every individual should learn to trust the inherent “gift” of their gut instinct or intuition. By learning to recognize various warning signs and precursors to violence, it becomes possible to avoid violence.
The Gift of Fear spent four months on The New York Times Bestseller List and was a #1 National Bestseller. It has been published in 14 languages. The book was endorsed by a wide variety of celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey. Oprah dedicated an hour-long show on the books 10th anniversary.
The book explores various settings where violence may be found—the workplace, the home, the school, dating—and describes what de Becker calls pre-incident indicators (PINS). When properly identified, these PINS can help violence be avoided. When violence is unavoidable it can usually be predicted and better understood.
The Pre-Incident Indicators include:
Forced Teaming. This is when a person implies that they have something in common with their chosen victim. For instance, acting as if they have a shared predicament when that isn’t really true. Speaking in “we” terms is a mark of this, i.e. “We don’t need to talk outside… Let’s go in.”
Charm and Niceness. This is being polite and friendly to a chosen victim in order to manipulate him or her by disarming their mistrust.
Too many details. If a person is lying they will add excessive details to make themselves sound more credible to their chosen victim.
Typecasting. An insult is used to get a chosen victim who would otherwise ignore one to engage in conversation to counteract the insult. For example: “Oh, I bet you’re too stuck-up to talk to a guy like me.” The tendency is for the chosen victim to want to prove the insult untrue.
Loan Sharking. Giving unsolicited help to the chosen victim and anticipating they’ll feel obliged to extend some reciprocal openness in return.
The Unsolicited Promise. A promise to do (or not do) something when no such promise is asked for; this usually means that such a promise will be broken. For example: an unsolicited, “I promise I’ll leave you alone after this,” usually means the chosen victim will not be left alone. Similarly, an unsolicited “I promise I won’t hurt you” usually means the person intends to hurt their chosen victim.
Discounting the Word “No”. Refusing to accept rejection; not recognizing the word “NO”.
The book, “The Gift of Fear” is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child before they go off to college or move out on their own. This book will change their lives in understanding their own “Intuition”, instinct or “Gift of Fear”.
One of the most often overlooked, yet critical aspects of Personal Security is, Situational Awareness:
“Check Your Six”, “Head on a Swivel”, “Be aware of your surroundings”. You have probably heard all of these before, but what do they mean?
As the names implies, “Situational Awareness” is simply knowing what’s going on around you. It sounds easy in principle, but in reality requires much practice. This skill is ingrained in soldiers, law enforcement officers, and yes, government-trained operatives! At SSG, we understand how important a skill it is for civilians as well. Ultimately, being aware of a threat even seconds before everyone else, can keep you and your loved ones safe.
Situational Awareness is a skill that can and should be developed for reasons outside of personal defense and safety. Situational awareness is really just another word for mindfulness. Developing mine has allowed me to survive multiple overseas operations in very high-threat environments. This same ‘mindfulness’ has also allowed me to be more cognizant of what’s going on around me in my daily activities, which in turn has helped me make better decisions in all aspects of my life.
Our Situational Awareness Courses Include:
- Defining Situational Awareness Detractors.
- How to use your “Gift of Fear”.
- What is the OODA Loop & How Can It Be Reset?
- Travel Security & Intelligence.
- Using Improvised Weapons.
- Mobile Phone Apps that can save your life.
- Actions during an Active Shooter Event (ASE).
SSG personnel have spent years in the field developing their Situational Awareness. This skill set is what has kept the SSG partners alive in hostile, high-threat corners of the globe. Let SSG help develop in you this important skill. Most notably, the focus is primarily on developing your situational awareness to prevent or survive a violent attack. However, these same principles will also help hone your powers of observation in all areas of your life.
Finally, here are just a couple of links to provide you a list of mobile phone applications that you can download and start using today. Stay Safe!
Contact Shaffer Security Group for your Situational Awareness training course.