A conversation with Linda Seabrook of Futures Without Violence
Key Takeaway: “One of the challenging realities of the COVID pandemic is that low-wage working women are now considered essential and they must go to work despite health issues or lack of workplace protections. They did not sign up to report to an unsafe workplace and the country is finally understanding that.”
In this episode of the Purpose Inc. Podcast, host Michael Young speaks with Linda Seabrook, General Counsel for Futures without Violence, a national social justice and anti-violence organization that provides policies, programs and campaigns to change social norms and empower individuals and organizations working to end violence against women and children, as well as to help communities heal and thrive.
Futures Without Violence leads a national resource center called Workplaces Respond, where employers, employees, unions and other workplace stakeholders come together to build “resilient workplace communities” that provide support, intervention and prevention. Futures without Violence designs state-of-the-art training and practices aimed at improving opportunities for those facing violence, discrimination and harassment.
Linda said that work and home are increasingly intertwined and keeping the two separate “does not make sense.” She added that when we go to work, we bring our whole selves and experience a “break” from home. So, it’s no surprise that reports of domestic violence have surged worldwide during the pandemic as economic pressure increases on low-wage workers.
“Domestic violence at its root is about power and control. So, what’s interesting about the pandemic and the shelter-at-home orders is how abusers can actually use government-sanctioned orders to restrict movement and access to the outside, which means survivors now have limited means of escape or sanctuary.”
“Yes, essential workers are heroes. Yes, we thank them for going to the front lines. But we can’t forget them after the crisis is over. If you feel that they are essential now in the time where we most need them now, then that has to be accounted for in the future.”
Once employers learn to better manage employees and account for their needs, employees will feel supported at work, will be happier and actually thrive.