bag with knifeI have lost count of how many times I have heard that.

A couple of years ago I held a workshop with a group of women who had suffered serious domestic abuse. The topic of weapons came up with a number of horrific stories and then one said “that will never happen again” and pulled out a large screwdriver from her handbag.

In workshops within organisations on how people can stay safe this is one of the many stories that I like to use to provoke discussion.

The 1st time I used this story someone came up to me afterwards and explained why they carry a kitchen knife to work every day. I encourage honesty in workshops so we can discuss the legal issues as well as the possibility of the weapon being taken and used against them.

Carrying something is much more common than most believe. Items including knives, sharpened combs, pepper spray and even a taser have come up in workshops held with professional attendees.

As a generalisation I find women carry in their handbags and men in the door or under the seat in cars. Items in cars include hammers, screwdrivers and tyre irons.

So no I’m not joking and just because you are not aware doesn’t mean something is not taking place.


Tony Willis

#hr #training #safety #abuseprevention