Domestic Violence Awareness at The University of Michigan
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  1. Policy
  2. Roles and Responsibilities: Workplace Safety
  3. Steps to Creating a Supportive Environment—Recognize, Respond and Refer
  4. Meeting the Individual's Needs
  5. Meeting the Needs of Students
  6. Meeting the Needs of the International Community
  7. Managing Offenders
  8. Reporting Domestic Violence and Seeking Assistance
  9. Availability of Confidential Counseling
  1. Policy
    1. Domestic Violence occurs when a person uses physical violence, coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation, stalking, or other forms of emotional, sexual or economic abuse to control another partner in an intimate relationship. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame hurt, injure, or wound someone. Domestic violence can be a single act or a pattern of behavior in relationships, which Michigan law defines as: currently or formerly married, currently or formerly dating, currently or formerly living together, or having a child in common. Domestic violence may be known by other terms, including intimate partner violence or relationship abuse. Definitions: Survivor — the individual who is being targeted for abuse. Sometimes they may be referred to as "victims." Abuser — the individual who is inflicting the abuse. Other terms include "perpetrator" or "batterer."
    2. As stated in our policy regarding Violence in the University Community, SPG 601.18, we strive to maintain a safe and secure workplace and:
      • Do not tolerate any acts or threats of violence, including domestic violence, against any university community member while on our property or while conducting the business of the university.
      • Do not tolerate any acts or threats of violence, including domestic violence, anytime, or anywhere, which negatively affect the job performance of either the abuser or victim of violence.
    3. Faculty, staff, students, patients, visitors, contractors and the general public are covered by this policy and procedures.
    4. The university will not discriminate against anyone in any employment actions (including recruiting, hiring, promoting, disciplining or terminating) because the individual is, or is perceived to be, a survivor of domestic violence. Nothing in these procedures will preclude the university from relocating an individual to meet the safety needs of the individual or the workplace.
    5. University community members who threaten, harass, or abuse anyone, either at the workplace, or from the workplace, or while conducting business of the university, may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge. Acts of violence, threats, stalking and aggression are considered to be misconduct. Misconduct is defined in SPG 201.12, Discipline, as:
      • Conduct, performance, or behavior, whether by act or omission that interferes with or adversely affects in any way the orderly or efficient operation of the university. This includes any violation of rules and regulations, whether written or unwritten, or unsatisfactory work performance that is caused by other than a lack of capacity or ability, and off duty or off premises behavior that adversely affects the employment relationship.
      • Refer to SPG 201.12 regarding Discipline (Performance and Conduct Standards) for issues related to employee misconduct. Refer to Regent's Bylaw 5.09 for issues related to faculty misconduct.
    6. Students who threaten, harass or abuse anyone are subject to the University judicial process through the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Regarding issues of student conduct, contact:

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  2. Roles and Responsibilities: Workplace Safety
    1. Imminent Threat Requiring Immediate Response: Individuals who become aware of imminent threats or acts of domestic violence occurring in the workplace should immediately contact the U-M Police Department (UMPD) by dialing 911.
      • Imminent or immediate threat is any situation in which violence is occurring, threats of violence are made, or the individual believes violence will or could occur in the very near future.
      • Examples of imminent threat:
        • A survivor has a Personal Protective Order (PPO or restraining order) and the respondent (abuser) shows up at work in violation of the order.
        • The abuser makes contact with the survivor and makes threats to enter the workplace.
    2. Potential Threat Requiring Prevention Efforts: A potential threat could be any situation in which there is a potential for violence. When a supervisor becomes aware that an individual is being threatened and/or stalked, the supervisor must take steps to safeguard the premises and protect all employees from foreseeable violence. A survivor may report to a supervisor they fear that the abuser may come to the workplace and assault them or cause a disturbance. Or, a survivor may report a recent incident outside of U-M property and fear the abuser may try to contact them at work.
      • In response to possible threats, the survivor or supervisor should contact U-M Police Department Dispatch at 734-763-1131 and ask to speak to the on-duty police supervisor for assistance with the situation. Because these situations are criminal or potentially criminal matters, UMPD should be the first point of contact when a survivor is requesting assistance. The U-M police supervisor will arrange for a U-M police representative to meet with the survivor and/or other involved parties for safety planning, to provide resource information and offer other assistance as needed. U-M police officers have authority in domestic violence crimes, including enforcement of PPO's.
      • The safety planning team would, depending on circumstance, include members from the UMPD, Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office, Counseling and Psychological Services, SafeHouse Center, Michigan Medicine Security Services, Michigan Medicine Office of Counseling and Workplace Resilience, Sexual Assault and Prevention Awareness Center, the survivor's supervisor and the appropriate Human Resources office. The survivor should be included if willing to participate.

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  3. Steps to Creating a Supportive Environment—Recognize, Respond and Refer
    1. The university is committed to providing information, resources and assistance for needs related to domestic violence.
    2. If you think an individual may be abused, follow these guidelines:
      1. Recognize: Let the individual know what you have observed:
        "I noticed the bruises you had last week and you look upset and worried today."
      2. Respond: Express concern that the individual might be abused:
        "I thought it was possible that you are being hurt by someone and I am concerned about you."
      3. Refer: Make a statement of support:
        "No one deserves to be hurt by someone else. I have some information and resources that may be of help to you."
    3. There could be several possible responses by an individual who is experiencing abuse.
      1. If the individual voluntarily discloses abuse:
        • Let them know you are concerned and that you will support their needs for safety, workplace accommodations and referrals to appropriate resources.
        • Keep the information private, telling only those who need to know, such as the U-M U-M Police Department and/or U-M Hospital Security if there is a direct threat of violence at work.
        • Work with the individual to adjust the work schedule or workload to increase their safety, if needed. The U-M U-M Police Department, U-M Hospital Security and the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC) and SafeHouse Center can assist with safety planning.
        • Provide the individual with appropriate resources: Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office (FASCCO), the Michigan Medicine Office of Counseling and Workplace Resilience, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC) and local Domestic Violence service agencies.
        • Provide the individual with applicable Human Resource policies, such as Jury and Witness Duty, the Sick Leave Plan, etc.
      2. If the individual confides in you, the supervisor, but is still resistant to letting anyone else know:
        • Respect their need for privacy and refer them to the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233) or a local community resource such as SafeHouse Center, (734-995-5444). Let the individual know that you will keep what they have disclosed private, but in the case of an imminent threat to the workplace, you, and anyone else who knows, are obliged to seek help to safeguard the workplace.
        • Individuals with Orders of Protection (personal protection orders and/or restraining orders) are strongly encouraged to provide U-M U-M Police Department with a copy of the order and make their supervisor aware of its existence.
      3. If the individual chooses not to disclose:
        • No further questions or speculations should be made. Make a referral to either the Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office (FASCCO) or the Michigan Medicine Office of Counseling and Workplace Resilience (OCWR). FASCCO and OCWR are able to intervene in ways a supervisor cannot or should not. Their early intervention can have a significant impact on getting the right kind of assistance in place.
    4. Other assistance Supervisors can provide:
      • Create a supportive environment. Workshop training, brown bag seminars, newsletter articles, and posters and brochures on domestic violence are all ways to create an environment which fosters safety and comfort for individuals to talk about domestic violence.
      • A stable work environment with clear and consistent performance expectations will help an individual achieve their best possible performance.
      • Temporary changes in job responsibilities, schedule, or even location, if permitted by the unit and desired by the individual, could be an appropriate accommodation and make it possible for greater focus on essential job functions.
      • Encourage the individual to let you know in advance if a deadline can't be met, or they can't handle a specific job function (e.g., answering the telephone, when there is a possibility the batterer will call at work). Temporarily adjusting expectations will allow you to respond in a supportive way to prevent any potential performance issues.

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  4. Meeting the Individual's Needs
    1. To enable individuals to seek assistance, persons in position of authority are encouraged to respond to individuals who have experienced domestic violence in an open-minded manner. Respecting individuals' needs for privacy and self-determination whenever possible, the university reserves the right to disclose limited information and take action when it is clearly necessary to protect the safety of the members of our university community.
    2. Individuals who have experienced domestic or sexual violence have multiple and serious needs, some of which may require time away from work. Supervisors should work with the individual to assess how existing paid and unpaid leave options may be used to help meet their needs: vacation, paid-time-off (PTO-scheduled or unscheduled), or sick time may be appropriate, upon providing basic documentation of the need for this leave. Documentation includes any written statement evidencing the individual's use of victims' services, medical or professional treatment or services, law enforcement or legal proceedings, or other actions or use of resources required to increase immediate safety.
    3. In accordance with SPG 201.29 Jury and Witness Duty (PDF), employees, including probationary employees, shall be excused from work and will not sustain loss of their regular compensation when called upon to testify at the order of a court.
    4. All written documentation will be kept confidential and in a secured file separate from an employee's personnel file, similar to a medical file. Access to this file should be on a strict need-to-know basis.
    5. Members of the university community have many resources available to assist them in dealing with the personal and performance issues that may result from domestic violence. Research indicates that about one of every three individuals who are abused at home will have problems on the job, including absenteeism, tardiness and difficulty functioning at work. Individuals are encouraged to inform their supervisor when conduct and/or performance problems arise that are directly related to domestic violence. In response to such disclosure, supervisors will provide an individual with referral to the above-mentioned resources for assistance. Supervisors will also work with the individual to determine if any accommodations, such as available leave time or workplace safety precautions, are needed.
    6. Managers are to consult with their Human Resources representative (central or unit) to determine if a performance contract, specifying a time period to gain assistance prior to considering any other action, is appropriate for the individual's situation.

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  5. Meeting the Needs of Students
    1. A student who experiences domestic or sexual violence should be referred to the Sexual Assault and Prevention Awareness Center (SAPAC). Students may also seek services from the Division of Student Affairs, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

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  6. Meeting the Needs of the International Community
    The International Center staff is available for consultation on issues relevant to members of the international community who are dealing with domestic violence. Since immigration regulations are extremely complex, international members who are concerned about how reporting domestic violence might impact their own or their spouse's immigration status should be referred to the International Center (734-764-9310). SafeHouse Center can also provide assistance (734-995-5444).

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  7. Managing Offenders
    1. Violence Disclosed or Suspected
      1. When an individual discloses perpetrating domestic violence, the employing department should inform the individual that the university does not tolerate the following conduct or behavior:
        • Direct or implied threats.
        • Physical conduct that results in harm to people or property,
        • Possession of deadly weapons on university property.
        • Intimidating conduct or harassment that disrupts the work environment or results in fear for personal safety (e.g. stalking).
        • Use of university property or resources such as work time, telephones, fax machines, mail, e-mail, internet, or other means to threaten, harass, or abuse someone.
      2. The individual should be informed of the Violence in the University Community Policy, SPG 601.18. Be clear that the employee will be disciplined if the violence takes place in any University of Michigan site or during a University of Michigan program or function, or if it affects the employee's job performance or that of another employee, student, visitor or patient.
      3. The individual should be referred to the Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office (FASCCO) or Michigan Medicine Office of Counseling and Workplace Resilience, which may make further referral to an appropriate Batterers Intervention Program, such as Alternatives to Domestic Aggression Program of Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County.
      4. If the individual does not disclose perpetrating domestic violence, but the supervisor suspects that it may be a problem, the supervisor may bring up any job performance problems that may be related to the conduct or behavior.
    2. Resources for Batterers
      1. Refer the individual to the Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office (FASCCO) or Michigan Medicine Office of Counseling and Workplace Resilience.
      2. Alternatives to Domestic Aggression, is a program of Catholic Social Services that serves perpetrators.
      3. Additional resources are available in the Regional Resources section of the Abuse Hurts website or from the Batterers Intervention Provider Standards Compliance Council.

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  8. Reporting Domestic Violence and Seeking Assistance:
    1. Any member of the university community, contractor, or visitor can report a violation and seek assistance. In addition, persons in positions of authority (including deans, directors, chairs, supervisors, faculty, graduate student instructors, coaches or others who oversee employees or students) have an obligation to contact the appropriate resources if they see or are informed of domestic violence incidents or threats of violence. Individuals can seek assistance from their appropriate Human Resources representative. The U-M Police Department (UMPD) should be contacted for consultation and preventive services as well as an immediate law enforcement response on each campus:

      Ann Arbor Campus at (734) 763-1131
      Flint Campus at (810) 762-3335
      Dearborn Campus at (313) 593-5333

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  9. Availability of Confidential Counseling:
    1. Ann Arbor faculty and staff and their family members may contact the Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office for any personal concerns related to domestic violence at 734-936-8660.
    2. Health System employees and family members may contact the Office of Counseling and Workplace Resilience for any personal concerns related to domestic violence at 734-763-5409.
    3. Dearborn Campus faculty and staff and their family members may contact the Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office at Dearborn's Office of Counseling and Support Services at 734-936-8660.
    4. Flint Campus faculty and staff and their family members may contact the Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office for any personal concerns related to domestic violence at 734-936-8660.
    5. Faculty, staff, and students may contact the Sexual Assault and Prevention Awareness Center (SAPAC) in the case of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking and sexual harassment at 734-936-3333.
    6. Students may seek services from:
      Ann Arbor Campus: Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 734-764-8312
      Dearborn Campus: Counseling and Psychological Services at 313-593-5430
      Flint Campus: Student Development Center at 810-762-3456.
    7. Anyone can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233) or a local community resource such as SafeHouse Center, (734-995-5444).
    8. The following is a list of domestic violence and sexual assault service providers in Washtenaw County and eight of the surrounding counties. Each of them offers a 24-hour crisis line, emergency shelter, counseling, support groups, legal advocacy and autonomy services—all of which are free and confidential.

      Washtenaw County
      SafeHouse Center
      Crisis line: 734-995-5444
      Web address:

      Genesee County
      YMCA of Greater Flint
      Crisis line: 810-238-7233
      Web address:

      Jackson County
      Aware, Inc.
      Crisis line: 517-783-2861

      Lenawee County
      Catherine Cobb DV Program/Family Counseling and Children's Service
      Crisis line: 313-241-2380

      Livingston County
      La Casa Center
      Crisis line: 866-522-2725
      Web address:

      Lucas County, Ohio
      YWCA of Greater Toledo
      Battered Women's Shelter
      Phone number: 1-888-341-7386 or 419-241-7386
      Web address:

      Monroe County
      Family Counseling and Shelter Services of Monroe County
      Crisis line: 734-242-7233

      Oakland County
      Crisis line: 877-922-1274
      Web address:

      Wayne County
      Crisis line: 888-453-5900
      Web address:

      YWCA Interim House, Detroit
      Crisis line: 313-861-5300
      Web address:

      For service providers in other counties or states, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or to find help anywhere in the country 24 hours a day.

      The Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence is a statewide coalition of domestic violence and sexual assault service providers that promotes policy change and offers extensive resources.

      The Michigan Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Board of the Department of Human Services administers state and federal funding for domestic violence shelters and advocacy services, develops and recommends policy, and develops and provides technical assistance and training relating to domestic violence and sexual assault.

      The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence offers resources and takes action on a national policy agenda.

      Legal Momentum promotes women's legal right to live free of violence.

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