United Family Services working to stop domestic violence in the workplace

by: Tenikka Smith Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A Charlotte agency is taking steps to help companies of all sizes get the resources they need to protect employees and their businesses against domestic violence.

In September, police said Guadalupe Morales was shot multiple times by her husband in the parking lot of an Iredell textile plant where she worked.

Police also believe Radcliffe Haughton's wife was also the target when he opened fire inside the Wisconsin spa where she worked, killing three women.  Investigators said the couple had a history of domestic abuse.

It's a history Rashida knows firsthand. She spent nearly a decade in an abusive relationship with her child's father.

Rashida said any steps she took toward independence came with a crushing punishment from her abuser. 

"The day after I got this job, he beat me to a pulp,” she said. “You couldn't even make out my face, my nose. There were just two holes and I came to work and told my boss it was a car accident, it was the airbag."

More than three years ago, Rashida finally got help from her friends and broke her silence to her employer, a major corporation in Charlotte.

"They were concerned, 'This is not safe, we have to do something to make sure you and your children are safe,’” she said.  

United Family Services is working to educate employers, especially those who own small businesses, to spot the signs and respond if they suspect one of their employees is a victim of domestic violence.  For the second year in a row, the agency is hosting a special summit to address workplace safety.

"They can come and learn about policy and protocols to help victims of domestic violence and also keep other employees in their workplace safe,” said United Family Services Chief Advancement Officer Karen Parker.  

It is critical information Rashida said could mean the difference between life and death. 

"It may have never happened to you before or happened in your business, but from this day forward now that you know -- do something about it because it can happen and we can prevent it,” Rashida said.

If you are interested in learning more about preventing domestic violence and protecting your workplace, United Family Services is holding an executive summit on Friday, Nov. 2 from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m.  It is open to all business owners and will be held at the Foundation of the Carolinas at 220 North Tryon Street.  Verizon Wireless, a company recognized nationally for its work to end domestic violence is a sponsor of the event.

For more information, click here.