Victims of workplace abuse, as well as their causes and potential remedies

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The condition in which an employee is harassed, assaulted, or abused at work is known as workplace violence. Most people think of it as a physical attack, but it's far more. This violence can take the form of written or verbal threats, such as any gesture or intention to hurt another, verbal harassment such as insults, cursing, and condescending language, or threatening actions such as throwing objects, fighting, or dangerous objects. Physical attacks and threats are also examples of workplace abuse. For example, using words and acts that might embarrass, offend, or demean a colleague is considered uncalled for. Gestures, bullying, short phrases, and other inappropriate words are among them. Other examples of workplace violence include not limited to psychological trauma, arguments, theft, swearing, anger-related incidents, vandalism, rumors, sabotage, arson and murder, pushing, and rape or sexual harassment. Workplace violence can also happen outside the working premises, for instance, social events, conferences, seminars, people should bear in mind that all this stems from the workplace (Baron 1996).
Statistics show that more than two million people are exposed to and become victims of workplace violence every year (LeBlanc & Kelloway 2002). Whereas this kind of violence can occur to anyone and at any given time, specific occupations and groups of people are more at risk of being victimized. Individuals who work in the public eye are at high danger of being victimized, especially those that handle cash transactions. Other examples of people who are at a high risk include transit or taxi drivers because of their nature of work. Working late night, encountering different kinds of individuals, in high-crime areas may put them at high risk of being victimized, bartenders who entertain drunkard may also be at high risk. Police officers and healthcare workers are also at high risk because they deal with so many cases of mental instability. Furthermore, cases of violence are experienced at specific times for instance during late and or early hours of the morning; this is a time you meet diverse individuals from drunkards, thieves. During holidays, paydays, appraisal days, and tax return period. Whereas employers and service providers should be providing training on security, and protection measures against such cases, in most scenarios, will most probably be inescapable for employees who go alone. In situations where some employees are not comfortable working and or moving apart, they should seek management for backup. Also, employees should always be vigilant, put on their guard and use their sixth sense or gut feeling to detect cases of danger or violence and always seek protection from top management whenever they feel insecure.
Causes of workplace violence
There are so many causes of workplace violence. This among other factors ranges from stress, angry customers, misunderstanding, and conflicts among coworkers, there are some employees who also bring their issues to their workplace, and this results in conflicts hence violence. It is believed that organizations that foresee violence are in a better position to prevent it.
An individual who feels that they have been wronged or ill-treated by the company can decide to revenge. This could be a former employee who feels like they were fired unfairly or mistreated by a colleague, or a customer who was cheated, either way if these decided to revenge it can cause havoc and commotion hence violence. Cases of disgruntled customers who firearms at their employee are most reported but in actual sense, these are only a small fraction of the many cases of violence at places of work.
Some employees have criminal backgrounds. Workstations usually have diverse individuals, coming from different origins, with different beliefs, and mindsets. Some of them believe that the only solution to amicably solve an issue is by being violent because that is all they knew and used to. Such people will only increase the level of violence at your workplace. It is believed that the only way employers can reduce on hiring such kind of individuals is by doing a thorough background check. Find out their records and their mental capability (Postman et al. 1948)
Our society today is very violent than it has ever been. People are more empowered now, instead of solving issues amicably, they resort to violence. It is regrettable that most of this violence ends up into the workplace, for instance, social service offices and emergency rooms in hospitals. Due to homelessness, diverse individuals have ended up crowding emergency rooms, mental health clinics, and unemployment offices in search for a solution. These are in most cases people who are mentally unstable and violent. The outcome of this is violence in society and of course workers as well.
This goes without saying that working environment and conditions can also result in violence. In such cases, you will find that their employees are overworked, underpaid which results in violence. Some work late nights and find it risky because you never know who might meet on our way back home in the wee hours. Some workstations have low lighting, which attracts robbers and all other sorts of unruly people. There instances where you will find that customers queue for long to access services, in such cases, they lash out and protest against poor the poor service providers. Employees also who work alone are at high risk of being victimized. This is so because in most cases they cannot protect themselves most especially ladies or female workers. Also, lack of available services and communication at work can result in violence.
Preventive measures.
Employers have to put in place policies that shun harassment of any form. In so doing, involve everyone in the organization. Harassment, stereotyping and segregation should not be tolerated at all in the organization. Involve everyone from the managers, executives, employees, body of governors and keep them at breast concerning the new policy. Explain to them every little detail concerning the policy and make sure everyone understands and comes to terms with it. There should be zero tolerance for harassment in the organization to iron out violence. If there arises questions and complaints, put in place procedures to solve them amicably and as soon as possible. It is also imperative for employers to foster in their employees the spirit of togetherness. Diversity should unite them other than separate them. Leo (1948), emphasizes individuals should adhere to the core and values of Jesus Christ who encouraged togetherness, community, love. He goes ahead to say that embracing each other’s differences is the only key to harmonious living.
As an employer set out training sessions. These sessions should teach employees and sensitize them about potential violence cases. Employees have also to be aware of any violent intruder amongst themselves. Also, emergency rescue centers should be established, and also preparedness training should also be put in place. This will help employers to detect harm and violence cases from a distance. In so doing they have to prepare and put in place precautions on how to solve the issue at a glance. 
Leo(1948) goes ahead to say that everyone is unique in their way and as such our uniqueness for being our focal point other than our differences. Individuals from different backgrounds think differently, and this brings a variety of ideas to the table. Instead of resolving issues violently, it is better to harmoniously put things on around the table and iron them out. Different channels of communication have to be communicated by the employers from the get-go.
The government has to establish rehabilitation facilities to cater for individuals who are mentally unstable. These are people in many cases are armed and easily cause violence whenever they go like health care centers, workplaces, banks. Rehabilitation them and facilitating them will reduce the high levels of violence.
In conclusion, whereas some people believe that workplace violence cannot be avoided, that’s just a myth. If colleagues live harmoniously, and iron out issues of discrimination, provide a friendly working environment, and Government takes precautions to cater for lawlessness in society, workplace violence will be history. 

Baron, R. A., & Neuman, J. H. (1996). Workplace violence and workplace aggression: Evidence on their relative frequency and potential causes. Aggressive behavior, 22(3), 161-173.
LeBlanc, M. M., & Kelloway, E. K. (2002). Predictors and outcomes of workplace violence and aggression. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(3), 444.
Neuman, J. H., & Baron, R. A. (1998). Workplace violence and workplace aggression: Evidence concerning specific forms, potential causes, and preferred targets. Journal of management, 24(3), 391-419.
Postman, L., Bruner, J. S., & McGinnies, E. (1948). Personal values as selective factors in perception. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 43(2), 142.

May 04, 2022

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