Program tackles domestic violence in workplace

The workplace is no refuge for victims of domestic violence.

By PJ WILSON, The Nugget
Thursday, May 5, 2016 11:41:25 EDT AM

In 2005, Lori Dupont, a nurse at Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital in Windsor, was murdered by a doctor she had once had a relationship with.

The doctor subsequently killed himself.

“A probe found (Dr. Marc Daniel) had routinely and aggressively harassed Lori in the workplace,” Kathleen Jodouin, of the Domestic Violence Coordination Committee, said Thursday.

“During the inquest, it was noted that Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital management missed 84 separate chances to take action and end the harassment Lori was experiencing.”

“The hospital failed to protect her,” Jodouin said Thursday morning at the launch of the Safety Net Train the Trainer event.

The Train the Trainer event is an education program aimed at the workplace, to help protect employees and fellow workers from the effects of domestic violence. It will be offered in North Bay later this month, and is an outgrowth of the Safety Net program launched in 2005 by the Nipissing Transition House.

“What it does is it tries to ensure the workplace is a safe and supportive environment” for all people, Jodouin said.

Jodouin said domestic violence “is not a private issue contained in the bedrooms of our community. Domestic violence permeates all corners of society including our workplaces where victims continue to be controlled, harassed, stalked and harmed.

“With the high rates of domestic violence in our region, it is likely that your workplace has, is or will be impacted.”

Arthur Henry, who will lead the workshop, said the plan is to target employees and “train the employer to train the employees” in how to help victims of domestic violence in the workplace.

“We want to spread out like a spiderweb,” he said, teaching people in the workplace what to look for and to create a safe environment.

That ranges from how to recognize there is a problem to how to help that employee.

“We want to give employers and employees the tools to know what to do” in a domestic violence situation, he said.

Recognizing domestic violence, he said, is key.

“It’s dealing with people day to day, being engaged with co-workers . . . what they look like, what they act like, seeing them behave differently, the inability to focus on things.”

Henry said a sudden increase in text messages, telephone calls or being late for work consistently can be signs that there is a problem in the person’s life.

North Bay Police Chief Shawn Devine said city police officers respond to an average of almost four cases a day of domestic violence in the city.

“North Bay is not unique,” he said, saying it is a problem across the province and across the country.

The Train the Trainer program will be offered from 9 to 11 a.m. May 25 at the Clarion Resort Pinewood Park. Registration for the event is available at and is free of charge.