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Workplaces Respond to Domestic & Sexual Violence

Comprehensive Workplace Prevention and Response Program

The recent tragic shooting at a spa near Milwaukee demonstrates the very real impact of domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking on the workplace. The shooter, Radcliffe Haughton, had a long history of domestic violence against his wife, Zina Haughton, who was an employee at the spa. The week before the shooting, Ms. Haughton obtained a restraining order against her husband, which also required him to turn over all his weapons to the sheriff.  Nevertheless, Mr. Haughton was able to purchase another weapon and enter his wife’s workplace, where he shot seven women, three fatally, including Ms. Haughton. 

 Don’t Wait For Something to Happen

Unfortunately some workplaces experience disruptive or violent incidents or lose valued co-workers because of perpetrators of domestic or sexual violence. Recently the media has reported four other deadly shootings around the country by current or former intimate partners at the workplaces of victims who had recently obtained orders of protection.

 Many workplaces are unprepared for these events. Don’t let this happen to you. Put together a comprehensive, proactive workplace program that focuses on prevention as well as response. Elements of such a program include:

  Conducting an employee needs assessment survey

Getting the support of the CEO or owner

 Building a multidisciplinary response team with HR, EAP, legal, security, the union and others

  •  Which departments or personnel would become involved if, for instance, an employee revealed they were a victim and that the perpetrator might approach the workplace, even if there was an order of protection? Does each department understand its roles and responsibilities?

 Conducting awareness raising activities

 With only a few small steps you can help raise awareness and connect people in your workplace to the assistance they may need:

 Conducting a workplace risk/threat assessment

Developing and implementing workplace policies/protocols

Conducting education and training for leadership and employee.

Building relationships with community stakeholders like service providers and law enforcement




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Partner Organizations Futures Without Violence (formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund), Legal Momentum, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and its National Sexual Violence Resource Center, National Sexual Assault Coalition Resource Sharing Project (RSP) of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, American Bar Association Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence, Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, Victim Rights Law Center, and Stalking Resource Center: A Program of The National Center for Victims of Crime.

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Funding by US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women

This project was supported by Grant No. 2009-TA-AX-K028 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed on this site or in any materials on this site, are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.