For some domestic violence victims, the workplace can be the only haven they have, says the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. And it also can be a catalyst for positive life change. Nordstrom Inc. hosted a lunch yesterday to benefit New Beginnings, an organization that aids victims. The Seattle-based retailer employs about 60,000 people, and 73 percent of them are women. It has a largely female customer base. “Unfortunately, this particular serious issue in our community kind of goes below the radar screen a little bit,” President Blake Nordstrom said. “For me as a businessperson, seeing what was happening to our employees and customers alike was pretty sobering.”
Although it’s tempting to respect a co-worker’s privacy, domestic violence is everybody’s business, experts said. Too often, people are afraid to speak up. “As long as we continue to believe that, we create space for the abuser to perpetuate the abuse,” said Sara Parker of New Beginnings. In Seattle’s King County, 23 percent of women 18 and older report injury by an intimate partner in their lifetime, says the Women’s Funding Alliance.