November 2016

Corporate managers learn   
what to do  
domestic violence 
enters the work place

In this season of gratitude the Women's Council is thankful for the support of our members and donors - and for the partners and participants who made our two Domestic Violence Awareness Month events so successful.
More than 60 managers and supervisors heard the risks and responses associated with domestic violence in the workplace at the "Violence at Home. Victims at Work." conference on Oct. 24. The conference was organized by the Women's Council and hosted by Baptist Memorial Health Care.
Judy Bookman from Concern EAP described damage 
done to employees by domestic violence at home.
Anita Vaughn, former CEO of Baptist Women's Hospital and now a consultant to BMHC, greeted conference-goers at Baptist's Garrett Auditorium.
Doug McGowen, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Memphis, congratulated the founding members of the Memphis Employers Alliance against Domestic Violence and thanked all attendees for becoming part of the community effort to help victims and survivors of domestic violence. City leaders including Mayor Jim Strickland are committed to addressing the epidemic of violence that occurs in our homes and personal relationships, Doug said. He described talking with his teen son about how to step up and be part of preventing abuse or assault among his peers. "I expect him to meet that standard," Doug said.
The terror and pain experienced in a violent intimate relationship - and the ways that effects work and co-workers - were shared by Brittany Church, manager of artists and special events for the Orpheum Theatre Group and a Women's Council board member. Her personal story about more than three years of agony, fear and courage captivated the conference audience.
Verizon Wireless HR Business Partner Bonnie Ferguson, from South Central Market headquarters in Dallas, added to the awareness of victims' experience and the danger of this behavior by showing Saving Amy,  a video that was funded by Verizon. Bonnie detailed ways that Verizon as a national corporation is sensitive to the needs of individual associates when they need help dealing with destructive relationships
Liability, risks and costs to employers when employees are struggling with violence at home are many and varied, according to the panel of experts at the conference. Mike Ryall, deputy director of the Memphis Police Department, urged everyone to pay attention and watch for people in need of help. MPD is committed to addressing the DV problem and will always respond, Ryall said.

Mike Ryall, deputy director of the Memphis Police Dept., talked about safety risks when domestic violence comes to the workplace. Other panelists were attorney Bruce Kramer, financial services security expert Sheila Bramlitt and Concern EAP's Judy Bookman.

Sheila Bramlitt, financial services security expert, and local attorney Bruce Kramer talked about the safety and security issues and importance of taking steps before violence happens at the workplace, potentially triggering lawsuits and other liabilities. Judy Bookman, LCSW from Baptist's Concern EAP, reviewed the ways colleagues and managers can recognize signs that someone is being battered, and the ways DV impedes work performance, mental health and more.
Employers can respond while preserving security and employee rights and reducing risks and liabilities. A second panel on best practices and responses featured Shayla Purifoy, a Shelby County judicial commissioner who hears Orders of Protection petitions; Donna DiClementi, director of Methodist Healthcare Employee Assistance Program; Kim Heathcott, CEO of Clarion Security; Candace Morgan, managing partner, Memphis Verizon, and Dr. Carol Danehower, associate professor at the University of Memphis Fogelman College of Business and Economics.
"What is important," Carol said, "is to do something. Do a little - put posters in the bathrooms or info cards in the break room. Or create a written policy that establishes a culture of support and compassion while also protecting the workplace, all employees and the work. Or do something in between those two - but do something."
Shayla recommended an "authorization of agency" to give employers power to keep away persons who are threatening or harassing employees. Kim shared ways private security contractors can witness, report or intervene in related situations. Donna and Candace talked about ways employers can provide support by connecting to EAP counseling and community resources or even relocating employees to another work site to maintain their employment.   
All agreed: Our workplaces can be safe spaces where those struggling with violence at home can find advice and support. We needn't wait until the worst happens.

Biggest 'Walk A Mile'
also the best!

Men led the way down Beale Street in heels in the 2016 Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: MPD Col. Don Crowe; Shelby County Judicial Commissioner Kevin Reed; Memphis City Councilmember Worth Morgan; MPD Lt. Col. Keith Watson from North Main Station and Memphis Chief Operating Officer Doug McGowen.

The sixth Memphis Walk a Mile in Her Shoes was the biggest and best ever.
More than 70 students from Bridges USA, two dozen medical students from UTHSC, command staff from the Memphis Police Department and other concerned citizens formed an exciting and energized squad of about 150 men, women and children who walked the mile through downtown. Most of the men donned women's high-heel shoes.
Walk A Mile
Students from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center found the perfect fit in Handy Park.

Before stepping off from W.C. Handy Park, the throng heard from Walk Co-captains Memphis City COO Doug McGowen, Memphis City Councilmember Worth Morgan and Shelby County Judicial Commissioner Kevin Reed. Each emphasized his commitment to ending domestic violence and urged men to take every opportunity to step up to aid victims and prevent domestic and sexual abuse.
They led the route from the park onto the Main Street Mall, past cheering diners and pedestrians, to Jefferson and then south on Second to return to the park. Walkers returned signs and shoes under the vigilant bronze figure of Mr. Handy.
The Women's Council especially thanks Deputy Director Mike Ryall and the Memphis Police Department for patrol officer escorts protecting walkers along the route and Walk partners, the City of Memphis, Memphis Says NO MORE, Splash Creative and HEALS from University of Memphis.
For more photos of the Walk, go to 

Op-ed column urges employers to act

Women's Council executive director Deborah Clubb penned a column published last month by The Commercial Appeal urging employers to be pro-active about domestic violence in the workplace.
She wrote, "... employers don't have to wait to react when a tragic situation...unfolds in their parking lot, loading dock or front office. Employers can be prepared, informed and active as tremendous partners in addressing the epidemic of intimate partner violence."
Read the entire column on our website

Sex Chat targets college communities

Two University of Memphis student groups are collaborating to offer campus and community an open conversation on intimate partner violence.
HEALS, founded and led by Women's Council intern Tori Hill, and Active Minds join together to present the 2nd Annual Sex Chat. Sex Chat is an event open to both students and community members to openly discuss sexual violence.  

This year's speaker is Jordan Moore Howard, Director of Communications and Development from the Family Safety Center. Following the speaker will be a short panel discussion. 

Sex Chat will take place in the  University Center at 6 p.m. on Nov. 16 in the Senate Chamber. Admission is free and light refreshments will be provide. 

Issue: 25
In T his Issue

DV Conference report

Walk A Mile 2016 success

Op-Ed Column on DV

Sex Chat at U of M

Next DV at Work  conference Nov. 17

WomenTalk Nov. 14

MAWC busy during DV awareness month

Next workshop 
Nov. 17
in Orpheum's Halloran Centre

Memphis area employers have another chance soon to learn how to be proactive when domestic violence comes to work. The Memphis Area Women's Council will present the two-hour "Violence at Home. Victims at Work." workshop session on Thursday Nov. 17 at the Halloran Centre for Performing Arts & Education at 225 S. Main St.
Light breakfast is at 8:30 - session is 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.  Parking is on adjacent streets or in the MLGW garage. Fee is $25.
Pre-register at  
or email . Mail checks to 2574 Sam Cooper Blvd, 38112. Walk-ins welcome.
Facilitators are Deborah Clubb, executive director of the Women's Council, and Dr. Carol Danehower, U of M Fogelman College of Business and Economics. They combine expertise on the dynamics and scale of domestic violence, research into the impact on workplaces and ways employers can respond pro-actively. The workshop uses interactive quizzes, videos, data and news stories to explore the complexity of the crimes, the options for employers and employees and resources to help all.


Don't miss the final WomenTalk of 2016.
Come share a beverage, a snack and lively topical conversation with women of energy and passion. WomenTalk is 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Women's Council office, 2574 Sam Cooper Blvd., 38112.
Come as you are, stay as long as you choose and just talk!
WomenTalk is hosted by the board of the Women's Council.

Women's Council pushes info
to aid survivors, their families

Each October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and countless institutions and groups take the opportunity to organize events or sessions. In addition to the employers' conference and the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, the Women's Council shared our expertise and materials and messaging from the Memphis Says NO MORE campaign with:

-Bridging Troubled Water Conference, hosted by UTHSC and organized by Memphis Crisis Center and Family Safety Center

-Father Don Mowery's radio show on WHBQ stations

-"Live at Nine" on WREG-TV

-2nd annual Shine the Light on Domestic Violence in Tiger Lane, hosted by Memphis and Shelby County Domestic and Sexual Violence Council

-Women Vote Early press conference and rally organized by coalition of women's groups led by National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Memphis Chapter and MAWC

-Divine Faith Church Women's Symposium

-Bridge Builders USA
-SisterReach Reproductive Justice Summit and Community Forum

Vote rally aims 
for big turnout

Bettye Boone, Women Vote Early coordinator for the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Memphis Chapter, rallied women to vote at a press conference supported by the Coalition, the Women's Council and other women's groups at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church on Oct. 20.

 Issues of crucial importance to women were emphasized by speakers, including Bettye on wages, Deborah Clubb on gender violence and Cherisse Scott on reproductive justice.

Photo by  Karanja A. Ajanaku