Original Article posted at Bizwomen, The Business Journals
Colbie Holderness says that after she ended her marriage to former White House staffer Rob Porter, she was "too scared to apply to any jobs other than that of server at a restaurant."
Holderness, Porter's first wife, along with his second wife, Jennie Willoughby, has accused Porter of physical and emotional abuse. Porter has denied the allegations, but resigned his post as staff secretary.
"It has taken me years to get my professional life back on track," Holderness wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Post Monday.
Research shows that women pay an outsized economic price if they are the victims of domestic abuse.
Victims of domestic violence lose nearly 8 millions day of paid work each year, resulting in a loss of $1.8 billion in productivity for employers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence notes that 64 percent of domestic violence victims say their ability to work is impacted by abuse. Of those, 40 percent say their abuser harassed them at work. A study by the Maine Department of Labor and Family Crisis Services found that 21 percent of offenders said they had contacted a victim at their workplace.
Health care for a victim of domestic violence averages $5,000 higher than the average cost for an employee, and nearly $4.1 billion is spent for associated costs per year, reports the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
One survey of domestic violence victims in 2005 found that nearly all reported some form of job interference.
A large percentage of homicides of women at work are perpetrated by intimate partners, a National Institutes of Health survey in 2012 found. Between 2002 and 2008, 142 women were murdered in their workplace by an abuser.
Yet a 2013 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 65 percent of workplaces have no formal policy to aid victims, and only 20 percent offered training on domestic violence.
Ellen McGirt, writing in Fortune, says workplaces need to pay more attention to help victims.
"If the current momentum around the #MeToo revelations is really a sign of a different time, then let it also be the time to address the personal violence that derails the lives of victims, families, communities, companies – and left unchecked, perpetrators as well."