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Women Helping Women Task Force launches training for West Side businesses

By Staff | Sep 23, 2010


LAHAINA — The West Maui Domestic Violence Task Force last week announced that it has invited dozens of area business managers to a specially designed training program about domestic violence and the workplace.

The training program, “Domestic Violence and the Workplace Response,” is set for Friday, Oct. 22, at Honua Kai Resort and Spa in Honokowai from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  

 “With more than 50 cases of domestic violence reported to local police each month in West Maui alone, we know employers are struggling with what to do when it’s one of their employees who has been victimized,” said Pema Gilman, West Side coordinator for Women Helping Women.  

Gilman said that the training program will help employers identify signs of abuse and know what to do and say.        

Participants will also hear from some of the county’s top experts about dealing with domestic violence.

 Training will cover domestic violence laws in Hawaii; how temporary restraining orders (TROs) work and the rights they provide victims; how Women Helping Women, in coordination with the county and state, can support and advocate for victims; and what workplace policies best protect victims and employers.

 Participants will also have the opportunity to review an example of a domestic violence employer policy from a Mainland company, and go through a Policy Planning Workbook to begin refining or creating a workplace policy for their business.  

The training program’s expert panel includes Emlyn Higa, County of Maui prosecuting attorney, Domestic Violence Unit; Cindy Lee, victim witness counselor and domestic violence specialist, Maui County Prosecutor’s Office; Pili Thibodeaux, TRO advocate, Women Helping Women; and domestic violence survivor Jlorra Basbas-Aguilar.  

Women Helping Women Executive Director Stacey Moniz will also speak.

 “Because this program involves developing policy, we’ve issued our invitations to the top manager of each business and given them the option of bringing one or two other members of their team,” said Gilman.  

She explained that this first program can only accommodate 45 participants, so it is important for employers to respond quickly and register.

The one-day training program is partially funded by the state and tailored for the kinds of businesses that operate on Maui.  

 “This is a first-of-a-kind training program for Maui that we believe can make a significant difference to the health of the community and the bottom-line of our businesses,” said Gilman.  

“We’re looking forward to an enthusiastic response.”