From the Desk of Michael W. Frerichs
The Illinois State Treasurer’s Office invests $28 billion on behalf of Illinois residents, units of local government, and families saving for college. However, we also must invest in people. That is why I am proud to have hosted an informational session presented by the Chicago branch of the Say No More campaign.
Say No More is part of a national movement focused on ending the silence that protects those who perpetrate domestic violence and sexual assault. Members promote an honest conversation to confront the excuses and misinformation that allow controlling behavior to survive in Illinois and across our country.
Say No More works with employers. This novel approach teaches employers how to identify potential victims and how to professionally, cautiously, respectfully, approach them and offer help. Employers are in a unique position to notice subtle changes that occur to a person victimized by such violence. Unexplained work absences, shifts in self-confidence, and no longer available for after-work activities often are seen before any abrasions or bruising are visible.
The gathering hosted by the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office allowed human resource professionals to learn ways to identify violence and appropriately intervene. The moral reasons to intervene are undeniable. There are, however, quantifiable costs. Say No More cites studies that estimate the annual cost of domestic violence for U.S. employers exceeds $8.3 billion, with $2.5 billion attributed to absenteeism and $5.8 billion to increased healthcare costs.
There are many challenges facing our state. When we work together, and offer assistance as needed, we can put each other in a position to succeed.
Michael W. Frerichs