By Carola Broaddus, Wellness Institute
A single workplace violence incident can have a monumental effect on a business. The after effects can linger in the business long after the incident occurred. I believe we as a society suffer from “It will never happened to me” syndrome. This attitude automatically moves us into the “victim list”.
An incident that happened to me over 15 years ago resulted in the lost of my eye and 3 deaths. Imagine coming to work to a lively office- mine was an answering service. However, one of the employees was involved in a controlling relationship that lead to a restraining order. The upset ex-boyfriend walks into the office, past everyone, with a hidden rifle. His intention is to kill her and anyone in his path. He does kill her, another employee, and then I encounter him. He shot me in the head which led to the loss of my eye. Have you ever had a rifle within an inch of your head pointed at you? I never “thought it would happen to me”……
The question has always plagued me- could I have done something to prevent this? Could I have done something that would have saved my eye? I don’t think we will ever know the real answer.
However, in trying to answer these questions, I became increasingly aware of checks and balances that people and workplaces can put in place that may go a long way to deterring an assailant, minimizing risk, and possibly avoiding a violent incident.
- Pre-incident indicators are often part of the incident…- In investigating our assailant there were many indicators of domestic violence. Putting in place Violence in the Workplace policies allowing zero tolerance leads to the proper help an employee can receive, minimizing an uncomfortableness within co-workers, and may prevent an incident from occurring.
- Self-Awareness- pretending that this can never happen to oneself- makes you easier to be victimized. The predator is aware of your behavior pattern. Always be aware of your surroundings walking in and out cars, offices, shopping centers. Texting and phone calls can wait until you are settled in a secure location away from the area.
- Self- Defense- be prepared to know what you will do if you are attacked. If the assailant gets in your space- you still have to think. If you panic, you minimize your chances. Take a self- defense class. Wellness Institute partners with Crossfit Alpha 1 Athlete to offer P.R.I.D.E. Self- Defense Seminar. Click on this link will give you an idea what to expect: http://youtu.be/kYhIRjPPRUM. Click on this link for our next seminar on Saturday August 23rd : http://www.crossfitalpha1athlete.com/event/12/women-s-self-defense-seminar
If you would like to know the full story of this horrific incident you can order the book “Look Beyond Tomorrow” thru me. I also speak and/or offer seminars regarding workplace violence.
Could I have saved my eye? There were possible two moves I could have done that could have moved the rifle away from head. It may have saved my eye or it may have cost my life. I owe everything to God for blessing me to survive. My hope is that everyone does something to minimize their risk as much as possible. What have you done to minimize your risk?
Linked In : http://www.linkedin.com/in/carolabroaddus/