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'The Business of Health Care Report'

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
09/24/2007

Click to listen to the taped broadcast.

I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. One in three American women report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives, according to the Family Violence Prevention Fund.

You may have heard this statistic before. But have you stopped to consider what it means to you? If domestic violence affects one in three women, how many of those live on your street? How many work in your office?

Despite its prevalence, domestic violence remains a hidden epidemic. It happens behind closed doors. But even though we don’t see it, we are paying for it. Domestic violence costs businesses 5 to 10 billion dollars annually in lost productivity, absenteeism, police and court costs, and health care expenses.

Texas Health Resources is trying to do something about domestic violence. Supervisors in our organization undergo training to recognize signs and symptoms, ask difficult questions, and connect victims to resources in the community.

We believe employers have an important part to play in preventing domestic violence, so we provide our Family Violence Prevention toolkit free-of-charge to other employers to start their own programs. Because for most employers, the question is not, “Is one of my employees a victim of domestic violence?” The questions are, “How many? What can I do about it?”

For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based hospitals – Harris Methodist, Presbyterian and Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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