Domestic Violence Awareness at The University of Michigan
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If You Suspect Abuse

The University of Michigan is committed to providing information, resources and assistance for needs related to domestic violence. Many survivors may not feel comfortable disclosing their abusive relationship to human resources or their supervisors. It is important for you to know how to respond if a friend or coworker is being abused.

You must know how to recognize possible signs of abuse. Signs that someone in your workplace is being abused may include the following:

Here are some ideas about how to talk to a coworker if you are worried about them:

As you talk your coworker, keep in mind that people in abusive relationships are not battered because there is something wrong with them. Rather, they are people who have become trapped in relationships by their partners' use of violence and coercion. The better able you are to recognize and build on the resilience, courage, resourcefulness and decision making abilities of a person in this situation, the better able you will be to help your coworker.

You should encourage your coworker to seek help and resources from the university by referring the survivor to appropriate resources, including FASCCO, Michigan Medicine Office of Counseling and Workplace Resilience, SAPAC or SafeHouse. You may also refer them to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. You should also encourage your coworker to obtain a personal protection order, and to provide the U-M Police Department (UMPD) with a copy of the order.

In order to understand what your coworker can expect if she would chooses to disclose to her supervisor, it may be important for you to review the procedural flowchart for supervisors. View the policy flowchart. Review the full policy.