County employees promised domestic violence training

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An Ontario municipality is sending out a strong message about addressing domestic violence in the workplace, publicly pledging to train all of its 1,200 employees on the issue before the end of the year.

The County of Lambton is one of the largest employers in the district and is already considered a workplace leader in local domestic violence education efforts – formally partnering with Make It Our Business in 2013.

The training program was developed by Western University's Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children and will be responsible for the upcoming training.

“This workforce is our biggest so far,” admitted Tracy Rogers, a facilitator with the Sarnia Lambton coordinating Committee on Violence Against Women.

Rogers has spent the last five years providing Make It Our Business training to Sarnia-Lambton workplaces, teaching employees how to recognize the warning signs of domestic violence and how to respond appropriately.

One in every three women in Canada has experienced physical or sexual abuse from an intimate male partner and, on average, a woman will be killed every six days in Canada by her current or former partner.

It’s a sensitive issue that many employers are still unsure about addressing but Lambton County Warden Bev MacDougall says she’s proud the upper-tier municipal government has taken a pro-active approach.

“It's not that any of us are going to be experts, but it's to be human and helpful,” she told The Observer.

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