Yesterday I  spoke with Miriam Dushane of Linium Recruiting. We talked about women’s issues, employment, purple purses… and how trapped domestic violence victims can feel because they don’t realize there are resources out there that can help them leave the abuse. Miriam has seen the effects of domestic violence in the workplace and also among women she knows. She offers words of encouragement, “There’s no reason for you to stay in a relationship that’s unhealthy.” Click here for more about why Miriam is wearing a purple purse in October.

Miriam is right. Often people don’t come to an agency like Wellspring because they think they need to be in crisis to access our services. They also may not come because they see too many obstacles to leaving and don’t feel they have the resources: ‘How would I afford rent?’‘I don’t have money for a lawyer so how would I get an order of protection,  custody or child support?’I can’t afford childcare if I go back to work… and what would I do in the summer when school is out. I’d have to leave my job’ So they remain in the abuse, because the obstacles to leaving seem insurmountable… and they feel trapped. Wellspring has resources to help with all these obstacles…and you don’t need to be in crisis to use our free, confidential services.

Kudos to Miriam and Linium for being so knowledgeable about domestic violence.  It’s important for employers to have an understanding about domestic violence and the resources in our community to support an employee in need. When a victim leaves the abuse, the workplace may be the most predictable place to find him/her, so abusers will often stalk, harass or otherwise interfere with their partner’s job. Did you know:

  • One in 5 people in the workplace experience relationship abuse in their lifetimes… and of that number 96% says their work suffers as a result.?
  • 40% of victims report being harassed at work by their abuser?
  • 74% of perpetrators had easy access to their partner’s workplace? and
  • 21% of offenders contacted their victims at the workplace in violation of an order of protection?

Wellspring provides safety planning for survivors–at home, at school and at work. Wellspring also has a toolkit to help managers and supervisors recognize and respond when an employee job performance and safety are being a impacted by domestic violence. Wellspring also provides assistance to employers in developing workplace policies to address domestic violence and in helping employers respond when an employee is being abused.