Ten years ago, Social Work Today published an article entitled “Violent Crime and Social Worker Safety.” The article illustrated in sometimes-frightening detail how social workers can experience dangerous situations in their profession.
“In the past few years alone, we have witnessed the fatal stabbing of a clinical social worker in Boston, the deadly beating of a social service aide in Kentucky, the sexual assault and murder of a social worker in West Virginia…and the brutal slaying of social worker Teri Zenner in Kansas,” the article states. “These are only a few of the murders of our colleagues, which, along with numerous assaults and threats of violence, paint a troubling picture for the profession.”
Since then, sadly, the danger has only become more pronounced. And while each incident has its own unique features, there are two obvious common threads that must be acknowledged. First, social workers are in close contact every day with clients that are in emotional and vulnerable situations. And while the social worker is there to help, it is not always viewed that way. Second, individual social workers and the organizations that represent them need to do more to finance and promote effective safety measures.
The latter point was driven home by a survey of more than 1,000 social workers, conducted by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) in which 58% of the respondents had directly experienced an incident of client violence, and more than 63% were aware of colleagues who had experienced client violence.
Legislation was proposed to make attacks against social workers an automatic felony, but no progress has been made on its passage for years. We hope that legislation that provides protection will one day be a higher priority, along with the enforcement necessary to implement that protection.
But here is the good news: You can take action right now that can make a significant contribution to your personal safety – as well as the safety of your family.
Social workers are advised to maintain an unlisted telephone number and home address. But doing so does not prevent that private information from being easily accessible on “people-finder” websites and hundreds of other sites. Information is shared and sold by thousands of companies where social workers eat, shop, and play, both on- and offline, with no consideration to how that information may be used.
We Can Remove Your Private Information From the Internet
Our focus as a company has been on protecting those in professions that affect the lives of thousands of people, some of whom will not be supportive of those choices. Social workers, like judges and police officers, certainly belong in that category.
Unlike less reliable, one-and-done services that delete information only from a few select sites, IronWall360 digs deeper, because all it takes is one successful search result to trigger a tragedy.
Our privacy team uses proprietary technology to scan the internet every day. When we find the address or phone number of someone under our protection, we make sure the website removes it. Usually they comply with our request, when they don’t, we contact the Attorney General’s office or we take them to court.
One way or another, that content comes down.
That’s why social workers trust IronWall360 every day to eliminate the personal information of their personnel online. We are the #1 choice for protecting public servants, and have served thousands of clients successfully for almost 10 years.