Family violence (also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, or intimate partner violence) occurs when a family member, partner or ex-partner attempts to physically or psychologically dominate another. Family violence often refers to violence between spouses, or spousal abuse but can also include cohabitants and non-married intimate partners. Family violence occurs in all cultures; people of all races, ethnicities, religions, sexes and classes can be perpetrators of family violence. Family violence is perpetrated by both men and women.

Family violence has many forms, including physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, intimidation economic deprivation, and threats of violence. Violence can be criminal and includes physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity), and stalking. Although emotional, psychological and financial abuse are not criminal behaviors in some legal systems, they are forms of abuse and can lead to criminal violence.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, family violence is a serious, preventable public health problem affecting more than 32 million Americans, or more than 10 percent of the U.S. population.

Why Texas Health is Involved

Texas Health recognizes that family violence is a complex public health issue that impacts people at home, in the community and in the workplace

The impact of family violence on the workplace is demonstrated both directly and indirectly through medical costs, loss of productivity and factors that may lead to an unhealthy work environment

Texas Health viewed family violence as a public health issue. However, as an employer, health care provider, and community member and partner, we also realized that family violence has come to the forefront as a serious workplace issue. No one entity, such as law enforcement, or shelters, could tackle this alone. It requires a collaborative effort in coordinating an effective workplace and community response to family violence.

What Texas Health Hopes to Accomplish

The goal of Texas Health Family Violence Prevention and Your Workplace program is to raise awareness of family violence and provide education and resources to help reduce its impact on the workplace and the community.

Texas Health wants to provide businesses with a comprehensive toolkit that will provide the information, experience, training and measurable outcomes to begin an effective Family Violence Prevention program in your company.

Texas Health wants to help decrease the stigma and denial that the problem exists in both the community and the workplace.

What Texas Health is Doing

Texas Health's focus is threefold:

  • Focusing on our employees and leadership team by providing educational training, brochures and resources materials;
  • Developing and providing our physicians and clinicians with training and assessment tools that will continue to provide effective patient care to victims of family violence, and;
  • Becoming active in our community by partnering and financially supporting community efforts, while working directly and indirectly with local, state and national level family violence advocates
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