Helping a Co-Worker in an Abusive Relationship

Aug 27, 2014

When you’re at work, you’re probably not talking with your co-workers about really personal stuff. It’s more likely you’re sharing thoughts about Guardians of the Galaxy than discussing the details of your relationships. But if you find out that one of your co-workers is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, you can help them by knowing how to show your support.

The most important thing you can do for your co-worker is let them know you’re there for them. If they’re coming to you for support, they’re putting their trust in you. Listen to them, and avoid judging or offering advice; instead, acknowledge their feelings and help them recognize that abuse is not normal or their fault. You might say things like, “You don’t deserve to be treated like that” or “You deserve to be respected.” 

If your co-worker fears for their safety from their partner while at work, you can help them create a safety plan. You might encourage them to speak with a manager or the HR department who can explain any policies about how the company responds to domestic or dating violence among employees. If you’re a manager, you could talk to them about what the company can do to help them, such as giving them time off for a court hearing. Talk to your co-worker about what would help them feel safe coming to and leaving work, whether that’s getting college campus security to escort them home, or walking them out yourself to the parking lot. 

Your co-worker may not tell you what their partner or ex looks like, but if they do, keep an eye out to see if they come in the workplace. If they do come in, don’t reveal information about your co-worker, like their schedule or where they take their breaks, because the abusive partner could use that information to stalk or keep tabs on your co-worker. Additionally, if your co-worker says they have a restraining order against their partner and expresses they want the police involved, you can help enforce that by calling the police if their partner shows up at the workplace.

It’s hard to find great people who you enjoy working with, so you may not want to lose someone as a co-worker. However, if it’s an issue of their safety -- as well as the safety of other employees -- it may be best to see if additional job sites can relocate them. If you’re working at a chain restaurant or retail store, for instance, your co-worker might be able to transfer to another location. Or if you’re working on a college campus, there may be somewhere else on-campus that’s hiring. If your co-worker needs to leave their job because of their relationship, it’s good to note that some states offer unemployment benefits to people who have left their jobs due to dating or domestic abuse. 

Abusive relationships can happen to anyone, anywhere. To help keep your workplace safer, brush up on the warning signs of abuse and learn how to be a part of someone’s support system. You can always call, text, or chat with a peer advocate at loveisrespect for more information and resources!

Break the Cycle

Break the Cycle, a partner of loveisrespect, inspires and supports young people at all stages of thier dating lives to create a culture of healthy relationships. Learn more at .

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Healthy Relationships at the Start of the School Year

Aug 20, 2014

healthy-relationshipsIt’s back-to-school season, and while you may be returning to the same school or going off to college, it’s important to remember how important healthy relationships are as you get settled back into the groove of going to class, studying for tests, participating in afterschool activities and generally being busier than in the summer.

Break the Cycle

Break the Cycle, a partner of loveisrespect, inspires and supports young people at all stages of thier dating lives to create a culture of healthy relationships. Learn more at .

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The Myth of the Friend Zone

Aug 13, 2014

It’s the plotline of so many movies and tv shows, seemingly dreaded by all who date: the friend zone

When someone says they’re in the friend zone, they usually mean that they want to have a more intimate, romantic, and/or sexual relationship with a person who considers them to be “just friends.” 

But we’re here to tell you something that might blow your mind: the friend zone is a myth!

Crazy, right? We’ll give you a few minutes to let that sink in. 

We know it definitely sucks to have feelings for someone who doesn’t feel the same way about you. It’s okay to feel disappointed or hurt by that. But the reason we call the friend zone a myth is because there really is no “zone” that you can be “put into” by someone else. Everyone has the right to decide who they do and do not want to date or be intimate with. 


The National Domestic Violence Hotline, a partner of loveisrespect, provides 24/7 support, resources, and hope to victims of domestic violence, their friends, and family. Learn more at

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