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Is there violence in your organization?


A culture of violence:

 

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Recognizing the problem

THE ABSENCE OF COMPLAINTS
DOES NOT MEAN THE ABSENCE OF VIOLENCE

While violence prevention is an issue that concerns ALL workplaces without exception and while all workplaces have  legal obligations in this regard, many of them do not look at the issue until they actually encounter violence, face a crisis, or have to deal with complaints.

The non-recognition of conflicts or problems of physical violence and of sexual or psychological harassment in the organization often poses a major obstacle to the adoption of preventive strategies. In many workplaces, the fact that there are no complaints may be interpreted as meaning there is no violence.

Yet the fact of not receiving complaints does not necessarily mean there is no violence in the workplace. Victim isolation makes the process of whistleblowing very difficult if not impossible. Far too often victims are not even aware that they are in fact the victims of a form of violence. In other instances, the workplace characteristics are such that they create “unspoken rules” that further rule out any thought of whistleblowing since such behaviour is not “acceptable” according to the prevailing workplace culture.

MONITORING THE SIGNS

Observer les indices Sometimes it is “subtle” signs that can set off the alarm bells, for example, at the human resources management level. High staff turnover, frequent changes in positions among managers, or a high rate of absenteeism may, for example, be attributable to the presence of violence in the organization.

In other instances, the organization’s culture itself can promote practices involving violence. The employees in some workplaces may be accustomed to speaking to each other in a violent manner or to being spoken to by their superior in an inappropriate manner. The dividing line between persistent teasing and harassment of an employee is sometimes very thin.

 

BEFORE PROCEEDING TO STEP 1

At the top of the page we suggest that you complete a short questionnaire (Do the test!) that may draw your attention to certain signs of the potential presence of violence in your organization.