Sixteen years ago, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas established SAVE – Shield Against Violent Environments. We realized the impact that domestic violence has on the workplace and that while at work, that may be the only time the survivor feels safe and/or have the opportunity to take action.
There are several aspects of the SAVE program. Internally, SAVE brings together our corporate health, employee benefits, legal and security teams to assist with employees’ needs who may be experiencing domestic violence. As well, we focus on educating management and co-workers about the complexity of the domestic violence issue and what action to take, what resources are available and how to be supportive.
Externally, Blue Cross has formed partnerships all across Kansas, in particular educating and working with other businesses to understand the complexity of domestic violence and the effect it has on the workplace, encouraging businesses to develop formal policies and procedures. Kansas is extremely fortunate to have a network of domestic violence organizations, who are experts in providing resources and assistance to those experiencing domestic violence. In Topeka, Blue Cross is proud of our partnership with the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment.
The other major aspect is acknowledging that businesses employ batterers and perpetrators. When Blue Cross formed SAVE, we realized the importance of providing the necessary assistance and treatment for batterers too. We felt a responsibility to be a partner in ending the cycle of violence, certainly while helping the domestic violence victim, but acknowledging the treatment that is necessary for batterers. Our work has led us to be involved with the Attorney General’s Batterers’ Intervention Program Advisory Board. You may not know that the treatment for batterers happens through 40 certified programs in Kansas; Blue Cross is supportive of the intense work and dedication of the programs.
We have been successful with this work, but there is much more to be done. On October 9, Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla announced an additional committee for the recently formed Mayor’s Task Force Against Domestic Violence – the Corporate Engagement Committee. Blue Cross is honored to chair this committee and we look forward to partnering with numerous businesses and how we can better assist our employees involved in domestic violence situations.
What can you do? If you are an organization or business in the Topeka area, we ask you to consider joining the Corporate Engagement Committee. If you are interested, please fill out the form below.
We would like to meet for the first time in 2018 to develop the committee’s mission and strategy.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is grateful to Mayor De La Isla for her leadership and understanding the importance of addressing domestic violence in the workplace.
We hope that you consider joining the Topeka Corporate Engagement Committee of the Mayor’s Task Force Against Domestic Violence.