The Urgent Need for a Paid Safe Days Standard

by | Oct 31, 2012 | Paid Sick Days

One in four women will experience domestic violence at some point in her life.

An average of three women are killed every day by current or former partners.

An estimated 1,200 women die and two million are injured every year due to domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month may be coming to a close today, but the urgent need to prevent domestic violence and support survivors continues. And paid “safe” days, such as those included in the Washington, D.C., and Connecticut paid sick and safe days laws, can go a long way toward ensuring they are able to get the assistance and supports they need.

Domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking are tragically common in the United States today, yet our country’s workplace policies do not provide critical protections for survivors when they need it most. Between 25 and 50 percent of domestic violence survivors report losing a job at least in part due to the domestic violence. And, unsurprisingly, almost all domestic violence survivors (96 percent) report that domestic abuse affected their ability to perform their job duties. Risk of job loss is especially troubling for domestic violence survivors because they often need to feel financially secure in order to seek assistance. In fact, many stay with their abusers because they rely on them for financial support.

A national paid sick and “safe” days standard would allow survivors to recover from or seek assistance related to domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault without risking job or income loss. Across the country, cities and states are passing laws that guarantee job-protected time off for survivors — but getting these critical workplace protections should not depend on where a survivor lives. It’s time for a federal standard like the one included in the Healthy Families Act.

Legislators need to make it a priority to pass laws that help those coping with domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault. Ensuring some job protection through a paid safe days standard is a good place to start.

For more information on the need for paid safe days, check out our fact sheet.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, remember that it is never the victim’s fault and there are ways to get help. Start by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).