Providing help for domestic abuse victims is more important than ever. The National Domestic Violence Hotline says they've gotten 17,000 more calls this year than last, with many victims reporting that painful economic conditions make their abusers lash out even more.
Brooke McMurray says that for every woman who calls a help hotline, there's a woman living in danger.
"When they answer the phone at the hotline...the first thing they ask you is, 'Are you safe?' And that is the most important question, because if you are being abused you're never safe," McMurray said.
If you're a victim, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says you should tell your supervisor and hr manager what you're going through, and ask if there are options like scheduling or assistance benefits that can help you protect yourself.
The Coalition also recommends giving security a picture of your abuser, to protect you while at work. Seventy-four percent of battered women report being harassed by their abuser while they are at work.
If you have a co-worker you suspect is being abused, the Coalition says you shouldn't confront him or her directly. Instead, express concern and a willingness to listen and be supportive.
When he or she does confide in you, encourage her to tell your supervisor and human resources. And if you witness an incident at work, call the police immediately and make sure the incident is documented.
Check out the links below for more information about domestic violence and resources.
Safe Horizon's Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-621-HOPE (4673)
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (7233)