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If you work with someone who is a victim . . .

This is your business. Domestic violence affects everyone — victims, abusers, bystanders. Gone are the days of thinking that domestic violence is a family problem, one to be addressed behind closed doors. As friends and co-workers we cannot sit back in silence because they do not know what to do. Each of us must be alert and prepared to respond when domestic violence comes into the workplace. 

• As a concerned friend or co-worker, being willing and well-intentioned is good, but being prepared to offer the kind of help people need in these situations is necessary.

• Even if the employee’s manager seems to be working with the situation, friends and co-workers can often help in ways the manager cannot. You may be able to approach difficult but necessary topics in an appropriate way and the employee may find it easier to discuss these topics with you than with the supervisor.