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Violence Against Women

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Violence against women at work

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Women from all backgrounds are attacked each year at work. Among women, murder is the leading cause of death from a workplace injury. Sometimes women are attacked during a robbery. Usually, though, women are hurt by someone they know, like a co-worker, customer, client, or patient. And sometimes attacks are the result of domestic violence that spills over into the workplace.

Here are steps you can take if you are concerned about violence at work:

  • Learn how to stay safe. Ask your supervisor about any safety policies and trainings. Make sure you know how to get help in a violent situation. Find out what security services are available, such as a security escort to your car.
  • Talk to your supervisor about adding safety tools. These can include panic alarms, closed circuit TV cameras, better lighting, and signs saying that only small amounts of cash are available.
  • Report any incidents that worry or upset you. Tell your supervisor about physical or verbal abuse. Also report worrisome behaviors of co-workers, clients, or customers. This can include sexual comments or advances that make you feel uncomfortable. Provide a written report, and keep a copy. You can ask that the report be kept confidential.
  • If you are experiencing domestic violence, tell your employer. If you have a court order of protection, share it with your employer, along with a photo of your abuser. If you don't have a court order, your employer may be able to help you get one. Your employer may be able to help in others ways, too. For example, if your workplace has an employee assistance program (EAP), staff there can provide support and resources.

Remember that you deserve to feel safe at work and your employer has a responsibility to help keep you safe.

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Content last updated: May 18, 2011.

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