Wednesday, June 03, 2009

It Can Happen To ANYONE

I was reading this article in the Boston Herald and I was struck by the opening lines:

"From the way defense attorney Jeffrey Denner questioned her, one would think Sandra Boss - not the man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller - was the one on trial.

Again and again, Denner reminded Boss, 42, that she was a Harvard-educated, senior partner with the global management consulting firm McKinsey and Co. before asking how someone so intelligent and accomplished could be so easily duped and controlled."

I zeroed in on this because this is thought "regular people" (not just defense attorneys) have verbalized to me in a different way: "This doesn't happen to smart, educated, professional people, does it? I mean, they would know better, right?"

The answer is -- domestic violence can (and does) happen to ANYONE. It does not care how smart you are, where you live, how much education you have, what you do for a living, or how much money you make.

In the United States, domestic violence happens to 21% of full time employed adults - see for the 2005 landmark survey work that the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence did on this issue, and for the 2007 follow-up survey by the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, Liz Claiborne Inc. and Safe Horizon regarding employees and CEOs.

It is interesting to me when I talk to people about what I do and about the impacts on the workplace and they say "Wow - that is amazing. I am sure, though that never happens here because we have 'XYZ' type of employees/occupations at this workplace so that would not be an issue."

Well, if statistics are statistics, and good research is good research (and we worked really hard to makes sure ours was). . .it seems pretty likely that there ARE people employed pretty much anywhere dealing with domestic violence, doesn't it?

Like your workplace. Or mine.

The Boston Herald article says "It is not unusual for a wealthy, well-educated woman to keep silent out of a sense of shame and fear of being met with disbelief because of her husband's status in the community."

That is something to consider. For anyone. Because it can happen to ANYONE.

If you need help with a policy or program for your workplace, check out our resources at

For help with domestic violence resources across the US, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).

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