Mayor Bowser Issues First District-Wide Policy on Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking
(Washington, DC) – Mayor Muriel Bowser today issued a new DC Government policy that provides protections for employees who are victims/survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The comprehensive policy, effective January 1, 2019, makes the District one of only a few jurisdictions nationwide with a broad violence policy.
“With this policy, we are taking another step to ensure that DC Government is a place where all employees feel supported and safe,” said Mayor Bowser. “By implementing this policy and being more intentional with our guidance and resources, we can better work together to assist and support victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.”
The new policy outlines workplace-specific signs of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking; offers victims/survivors protection against employer discrimination or retaliation; creates a workplace safety and support plan; designates an agency point of contact for victims/survivors; and ensures confidentiality and other protections for victims/survivors. The policy will result in increased training of DC Government employees and ensure that more employees are equipped to identify suspected abuse and able to direct victims/survivors to support.
The District’s policy is considered victim/survivor-centered because it makes the safety and well-being of survivors the primary focus. The policy was developed following consultation with the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a local advocacy organization. In formulating the policy, the District also reviewed national best practices as well as the Office of Personnel Management’s guidance to federal agencies.
Victims/survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking can also call or text the DC Victim Hotline at 1-844-4HELPDC (1-844-443-5732) 24/7 or contact the hotline via chat at www.dcvictim.org. Anyone in imminent danger should call 911.