The Cost of Domestic Violence in the Workplace

Of full-time employees, 1 in 5 have experienced or are actively experiencing domestic violence, which comes in many forms including psychological, emotional, financial, spiritual, physical and sexual.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that domestic violence costs the US economy $8.3 billion a year. That factors in health care costs, absenteeism, decrease in productivity and employee deaths. Across the US, 8 million workdays and more than 32,000 full-time jobs are lost each year due to intimate partner violence, according to the American Psychological Association.

Health Advocate says, 75% of victims report some form of harassment from their abusers while they are at work. Incidents can include stalking and harassment of the victim or other employees. A Harvard University School of Public Health study found that 71% of all HR and security personnel reported an incident of domestic violence had occurred on company property. For survivors of domestic violence, 60% report losing their jobs and 96% say their work performance suffered because of the abuse.

When intimate partner violence includes social isolation, the workplace may be the only safe haven for someone experiencing domestic violence. One participant in a Canadian study on domestic violence and the workplace said,” … we bring to work everything that happens at home. We can’t compartmentalize or mentally separate these different aspects of our lives. While it might not technically be the responsibility of the employer or union to provide shelter or assistance for employees being victimized by abusers at home, the workplace is a logical place to provide help, support, and resources for victims of violence.”

Employers can recognize and respond to intimate partner violence, but it is best to prepare in advance rather than to be reactive. This employer toolkit provided by Harmony House includes model policies, incident response tips, information posters, and training videos.


The Greene County Family Justice Center is a non-profit collaborative of local agencies offering comprehensive services to survivors of domestic, sexual, and family violence. Our services are trauma-informed, survivor-centered, and we welcome survivors at any point in their process. We partner with local non-profit service providers as well as local law enforcement, the Prosecutor’s office, and Children’s Division to make victim services more accessible and completely voluntary. If you do not want to participate in the criminal justice process, we support you.

Our vision is a future where we all work together to meet the needs of domestic violence and human trafficking survivors through comprehensive and accessible services, education, and perpetrator accountability. Through a coordinated framework and co-located response, we strive to break the vicious generational cycle and community impact of domestic violence and resulting victimizations.

We can help you plan for your safety whether you plan to stay in the relationship, or you are actively trying to escape. All our services are free, confidential and survivor centered. Have questions about what services are available? Visit us at 1418 E. Pythian Street or give us a call at 417-874-2600. We are open 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday. For after-hours assistance, call the Harmony House/Victim Center’s 24-hour safe line at 417-864-SAFE (7233). If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.