Our Commitment to Zero Tolerance

The Official Blog of the U.S. Department of Labor

Every October, we bring special awareness to an issue that plagues our communities, our families and even our workplaces—domestic violence against women. For more than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) in this country, the impact of domestic violence is felt by more than just the victim.

Ending this devastating reality has been a priority for the Administration.  During his first year in office, Vice President Biden announced longtime advocate Lynn Rosenthal as White House Advisor on Violence Against Women—a newly created position. And President Obama called on the executive heads of federal agencies (as leaders and model employers) to establish policies that address domestic violence within their own workplaces.

The Department of Labor has an additional role to play by educating employers and workers on strategies to prevent and reduce workplace violence.

For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued guidance on inspecting incidences of workplace violence in health care settings and other industries vulnerable to this crime. In the workplace, homicide against women is the second leading cause of death on the job, at a rate that is more than double the rate for men.

Domestic violence is also a significant issue for female veterans. It was reported that 18-19% of female veterans have experienced domestic violence. Last year, the Women’s Bureau released a Trauma Guide to ensure that female veterans receive proper care in combatting their unique and multiple traumas, including domestic violence and sexual trauma.

And most recently, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis marked the 18th anniversary of the landmark Violence Against Women Act by issuing a statement pledging to redouble “our commitment to a zero tolerance policy against this heinous crime and our efforts to help victims rebuild their lives.”

This year, as we think of the 42.4 million women who are survivors of domestic violence, we note the many efforts that have been made to increase public awareness about this epidemic, but we know more work needs to be done.

Latifa Lyles is Acting Director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau. 

Tagged as: domestic violence against women, female veterans, Latifa Lyles, Lynn Rosenthal, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), Secretary Hilda Solis, Trauma Guide, Violence Against Women Act, White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, Women’s Bureau, Workplace Rights, Workplace Safety


The White House Blog: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Today marks the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. From its humble origins in 1981 as a Day of Unity, this month has become a time to celebrate survivors, congratulate advocates, empower victims, and mourn the deaths of those lost to domestic violence. Around the country, communities are coming together this month to hold vigils, public awareness programs, survivor speak outs and town hall meetings.

At the White House, we know that this month would not be possible without the lifelong dedication of those on the front lines. This month we honor the hotline workers who work the night shift to be there around the clock for victims in need. We pay tribute to the shelter workers who show that they care every day and the law enforcement officers who treat victims with dignity and respect when they knock on a door. We acknowledge the prosecutors who take on tough cases and the doctors who screen their patients for domestic violence. We appreciate the community-based organizations who reach people in their neighborhoods and the faith leaders who speak out about ending domestic violence.  Most of all, we honor the women, men, and children who have survived violence.

Our commitment to survivors is reflected in the Obama Administration’s efforts to raise awareness and prevent domestic violence. Earlier this year, President Obama directed federal agencies to develop policies to assist victims of domestic violence in the federal workforce. Through Vice President Biden’s 1 is 2 Many campaign, we released a public service announcement featuring professional athletes and other role models speaking out against dating violence.