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  Home : Soroptimist Workplace Campaign to End Dometic Violence

The Soroptimist Workplace Campaign to End Domestic Violence:
Keeping Women Safe at Work

After years of enduring domestic abuse, Ellen flees from her husband, Paul. She moves in with a friend and changes her personal phone number and email address. Soon Ellen begins receiving threatening phone calls and emails at work. Then one day she finds Paul waiting for her in the office parking lot where he threatens to kill her unless she returns. Ellen doesn’t know who to turn to or where to go. For years, she has been hiding the abuse from her friends, family, coworkers and employers.

When a woman is being abused at home by her domestic partner, she does not leave the abuse behind when she goes to work. The workplace may be the only
place a woman has sanctuary, and where she is safe to receive help
and support.

If you are being abused,
or know someone who is, call:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline,

Warning signs that a co-worker may be a victim of abuse:
• Social withdrawal
• Bruises or physical complaints
• Crying or outbursts of anger when on the phone
• Frequent personal calls that leave her upset
• Frequent unexplained absences or lateness
• Decline in job performance
• Lack of concentration

A domestic violence victim may be reluctant to discuss her situation out of fear or embarrassment. Approach her with extreme care and:
• Don’t pressure her to talk about the abuse
• Support her without judgment
• Respect her need for confidentiality
• Reassure her that she is not to blame
• Make sure she is physically safe or has a safety plan
• Provide her with a list of domestic violence resources in the area

Employers can be powerful allies for women experiencing domestic violence. They can:
• Screen emails and telephone calls
• Provide an escort to and from transportation
• Allow the use of leave time for doctors, lawyers or cour t appointments
• Offer leave without pay if necessary
• Change or alternate work hours or locations
• Institute workplace domestic violence guidelines and policies

Established in 1994, the Soroptimist Workplace Campaign to End Domestic Violence is an ongoing effort to raise awareness about a seldom addressed domestic violence issue: domestic violence as a workplace concern. The Soroptimist Workplace Campaign to End Domestic Violence is a comprehensive campaign providing information, materials and support specifically designed for employees who are the target of domestic abuse, their co-workers and their employers.

How can you help?
Learn more about how domestic violence affects women in the workplace, and advocate to improve conditions.

Sign up for Soroptimist's online Live Your Dream community,, and join with others working on this issue. There, you can access instructions for participating in the campaign, download sample policies and guidelines for implementing domestic violence workplace polices, and order Keeping Women Safe at Work hotline cards

  • Read more about domestic violence in the workplace in Soroptimist's exclusive whitepaper: Domestic VIolence in the Workplace

  • Soroptimist members: Access resources for administering this program


    Domestic Violence in the Workplace Facts:

    • Of adults surveyed, 44 percent personally experienced the effects of domestic violence's in their workplaces (Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence)

    • Domestic violence victims lose a total of nearly $8 million days of paid work each year – the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs. (Centers for Disease Control)

    • American businesses experience nearly $2 billion in productivity loses each year. (Family Violence Prevention Fund)









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