A New Report Finds an Urgent Need for Safe Leave Protections as Americans Miss Work Due to Violence

A new report from the Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ) finds American workers lose 6.7 million days of work each year due to violent victimizations. More than 200,000 people miss work each year, and half of all people who miss work also lose pay because their absences are not covered by paid leave policies such as paid safe leave or sick leave. Half of U.S. states offer some form of safe leave protections, often implemented specifically to protect victims of gender-based violence, a group making up 37% of those who missed work due to violence. Using data from the National Crime Victimization Survey, the report finds new evidence for the need for broad eligibility for paid safe leave protections for victims of violent crimes.

Key Findings:
Victims of violent crimes miss 6.4 million days of work each year. The household members of direct victims missed approximately 300,000 additional days of work, often to care for loved ones who experienced victimization.
More than 200,000 Americans miss work each year due to violence and nearly half of those workers lost pay because their absence was not covered by paid safe leave or another form of paid leave, such as sick leave.
Of the people who missed work as a result of violence, 37% were victims of gender-based violence, 25% experienced simple assault, 24% experienced aggravated assault, and 15% experienced robbery.

These findings are limited to survivors of nonfatal violence. Because survivors of victims of homicide also regularly miss work, the true toll of violence is higher than those presented here.

Safe leave is legally protected time off work in the wake of violent victimization for necessities including medical care, physical safety needs, victim services, caring for a loved one who was victimized, attending court, or dealing with legal issues. The hundreds of thousands of Americans who miss work every year due to violence would benefit from the work-related protections that safe leave offers. Those policies will be the most effective and reach the most victims if they include broad eligibility criteria including gender-based violence and other forms of violence such as assault and robbery.

“Victims of crimes deserve the security of safe leave while recovering from injuries or taking actions to make themselves or their loved ones safer,” said Aswad Thomas, Vice President of the Alliance for Safety and Justice and National Director of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice. Safe leave provisions that protect people’s jobs while they recover benefit victims, employers, and communities. However, this new report demonstrates that hundreds of thousands of Americans are losing pay while recovering from violent victimizations, making them more vulnerable to additional violence. Paid safe leave is necessary to protect jobs and help guarantee financial and physical security in the wake of violence.

Read the full report here.


About the Alliance for Safety and Justice
The Alliance for Safety and Justice is a national organization that aims to win evidence-based new safety priorities in states across the country. It also brings together diverse crime survivors to advance policies that help communities most harmed by crime and violence, as part of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice – its national network of over 200,000 crime survivors. For more information, visit: https://allianceforsafetyandjustice.org or https://cssj.org.