How violence impacts the bottom line

An article in Saturday's Globe and Mail, in the Globe Careers section, held me spellbound. It was not about dream careers or stories of career transformations. Rather, it dealt with the recent events in India, where a 23 year old female student was attacked by a gang and then perished from her wounds.

The event made it to international consciousness after The New York Times ran an article ... but my heavy heart wonders how often this kind of story is buried and forgotten. Nonetheless, public outrage from women and men, and ongoing discussion, generated by journalists such as Leah Eichler, one of The Globe's career contributors, is keeping the topic alive.

My thoughts never wandered beyond feeling empathy for immediate family, but of course co-workers or fellow students - these women also suffer. Obviously friends will greave their friend's death and the unthinkable acts that caused her passing. But even if they didn't know the woman herself, other women suffer from fear. This fear impacts not only their private lives, but also their productivity at work or school.

Ms. Eichler cites a few statistics in her article, which I'll share here. It's estimated that the cost of violence against women in Canada costs approximately $4.2Billion annually. Staggering, isn't it? This is calculated on health care, criminal justice, social services, and costs of lost wages and productivity.

The article, "When violence hits the bottom line," includes a call to action. She wrote:

"I believe private industry can also do more, starting with resisting marketing campaigns that protray women as sex objects." and goes on to write "Yes, violence against women is a human rights issue. but if that doesn't inspire business leaders to take a stand, then perhaps the hidden economic impact will."

If your place of work is looking for a deserving group to which to contribute funds or services, perhaps one related to violence against women would be appropriate?