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Domestic violence often follows victims to work

We've all heard the troubling statistics about domestic violence. For example, on average, a woman is fatally shot by a current or former husband or boyfriend every 16 hours. That doesn't even take into account women who are killed by other methods such as stabbing, strangulation and beating.

Domestic abusers sometimes kill children, other family members and friends of the woman they're targeting -- either intentionally or accidentally. Sometimes bystanders become victims as well. It's the latter cases, which often take place in workplaces or public spaces, that tend to make the news.

Just this month, for example, the estranged husband of a special education teacher in California followed her to work where he shot her and two of her students. The woman and one of the students were killed. The man then killed himself.

Advocates for victims of domestic violence argue that while murders like this get national and international coverage, the same can't be said for the wives and girlfriends killed in their own homes every day by a current or former intimate partner. Further, when abusers take their anger to their victim's place of employment, the murders are too often portrayed as workplace shootings. In this recent case, some media referred to it as an "elementary school shooting."

Victims of domestic violence are often targeted in and around where they work, because their abusers know where they will be at particular hours of the day. While many women hesitate to tell their employers because they're afraid they'll lose their job, they're ashamed to admit that they're being abused or they simply don't want to share personal matters, employers do have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to protect their employees' safety. An experienced Massachusetts attorney can help you work to take the necessary legal steps to help protect yourself, your family and those around you.

Source: The Boston Globe, "When a murder is domestic violence, we forget about it," Renee Graham, April 16, 2017

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