Addressing Domestic Violence in the Workplace Makes Us All Safer -

Addressing Domestic Violence in the Workplace Makes Us All Safer

Tom Johnston
Addressing Domestic Violence in the Workplace Makes Us All Safer

Last month, the Community Alliance Against Family Abuse (CAAFA) was saddened to read the story of Carie Charlesworth, a teacher in San Diego, California whose abusive husband stalked her at the school where she taught second grade. The Holy Trinity School fired Ms. Charlesworth and prevented her two children from continuing to attend. Firing an employee does not terminate the problem of domestic violence at the workplace. When a victim of domestic violence is fired for her abuser’s actions economic independence is taken from the victim and other victims are shown that reporting potential danger to the school results in termination. Reaching out for basic advocacy from an organization like CAAFA could have helped reinforce the safety of Ms. Charlesworth, her children, and the school.

One in four women in the United States experience domestic violence and 74% of employed victims of domestic violence say they were harassed while they were at work. Just as concerning to employers and the community, over 75% of domestic violence abusers used workplace resources at least once to express remorse or anger, check up on, pressure, or threaten the victim. In addition to the human toll, there is a very real economic cost to domestic violence in the workplace. The annual loss of productivity due to domestic violence is $727.8 million, with over 7.9 million workdays lost each year.  Yet, it is estimated that only 4 percent of businesses train employees on domestic violence and its impact on the workplace.  CAAFA is available to help local business be leaders in workplace safety by providing free workshops to employees about domestic violence and workshops for business about how to response to domestic violence in the workplace. CAAFA has the resources available to help business responsibly address the issue of domestic violence in the workplace and to provide support for victims of domestic violence. CAAFA offers shelter, support groups, one-on-one support, assistance with basic needs, and lay legal advocacy services to assist victims of domestic violence in navigating the legal system in order to gain the appropriate protection. All services are free of charge. In cases of domestic violence CAAFA can assist workplaces in obtaining an Injunction Against Workplace Harassment to restrain individuals from contacting and visiting a workplace and its employees.

If you are seeking services please call our crisis line at 480-982-020 or if you are interested in learning more about  workshops on domestic violence for workplace, please contact Michele Reimer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 480.982.0205 ext. 223.


The mission of the Community Alliance Against Family Abuse is empowering individuals, families and communities to be free from abuse through collaboration, prevention, awareness and support. CAAFA provides domestic and sexual violence advocacy and prevention in Northern Pinal and Eastern Maricopa counties.