Consider This: Evolve! Wilmington

What affects employees affects their employers. With nearly one in three women reporting abuse at some time in their lives, domestic violence is likely to affect almost every workplace, when a victim is absent because of injuries or less productive due to stress; when an abuser harasses an employee while they're on the job; or when the violence occurs at the worksite.

The good news is that employers who address it can provide real help to victims and reduce the associated risks. And the good news for southeastern North Carolina is that there's an organization in Wilmington dedicated to helping domestic violence victims and striving to create a civil workplace and prevent workplace violence - the Domestic Violence Shelter & Services' "Evolve! Wilmington", a group of professionals dedicated to the establishment of civil, violence-free, productive workplaces.

We commend the five New Hanover County employers who have joined "Evolve! Wilmington" in developing and establishing a Civil Workplace Protocol - the City of Wilmington, New Hanover County, New Hanover Regional Medical Center, UNCW and Verizon Wireless, a company widely recognized as a national leader in combating domestic violence in the workplace.

"Evolve! Wilmington's" mission is to promote civil and productive workplaces that strive to reduce workplace violence, protect and provide services to victims, and increase perpetrator accountability. If you'd like more information, contact Rickie Houston, Prevention Specialist at Domestic Violence Shelter and Services.

The effects of domestic violence, like alcoholism and drug abuse, don't stop at a business' door when an employee comes to work. The more a company does in the way of domestic violence prevention and protection, the more likely employees will come forward when they have a problem.

That's what we think. Tell us what you think. (kd)