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Smart Woman: The Corporate Challenge

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Domestic Violence:

It’s an issue that many people don’t like to talk about. But some businesses are trying to get people to do just that.

Domestic violence doesn’t stay at home when women go to work. It can follow them, resulting in 13,000 violent acts each year on women at work by their spouse or significant other. It can also spill over into the workplace with harassing phone calls, absences because of injuries and a less productive employee because they are under stress.

SIGNS TO LOOK FOR:

  • Unexplained bruises

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Misses work often

  • Receives repeated upsetting phone calls

  • Appears anxious, upset or depressed


  • Talking to Co-Workers About Abuse: You may hesitate to talk to a coworker about abuse because it’s a personal issue, but experts say many battered women find it hard to ask for help. They’re truly relieved when someone reaches out to them. Experts suggest letting the coworker know that you are there for them if they need help. You can also encourage them to talk to someone at work they trust. The security department may be a useful resource. The victim can give security a photograph of the batterer, along with a copy of a protective order, if there is one. If a batterer threatens or harasses the person, suggest they call police.

    Spreading the Word: Liz Claiborne is taking the lead on domestic violence. They formed the Women’s Work program. As part of the campaign, throughout their stores there are brochures and posters about domestic violence. There are also public service announcements, campus workshops and partnerships with community groups. This year, they are also providing a handbook that gives straightforward advice on how to talk about this difficult subject. To get a free copy, call 1-800-449-STOP (7867)

    For more information, contact:

    Jo Flattery
    320 West 13th Street
    7th Floor
    New York, NY 10014
    (212) 229-0500
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