When Jane* ended her relationship with her boyfriend because he was emotionally abusive and physically threatening, she thought the worst was over. But she was wrong.
Although Jane reported the abuse and went to Court, she was still blamed for the conduct of her ex-boyfriend by everyone around her – law enforcement, the District Attorney’s office, strangers, friends and family. But the long-lasting injustice was the loss of her job when she was fired because of the actions of her abuser.
The New York City Human Rights Law prohibits employees from being treated adversely on the job, including being fired, because they are a victim of domestic violence, sexual offenses or stalking. These unlawful discriminatory practices include when an employer takes adverse action against an employee based on the actions of an abuser.
GELC recognizes the importance of enforcing employment protections for women and LGBTQ individuals who are in abusive relationships. Often, abuse leads to a loss of economic stability and enforcement of these laws helps ensure a victim’s effort to gain independence from an abuser.
“ While I was going through the abuse I believed that no one could
advocate for me better than myself. But when I found GELC, they put all the pieces together and became the voice I needed so that I could be taken seriously. GELC became my fiercest advocate. ” – Jane
Unfortunately, Jane’s experience is not an isolated one. There are many other women who face what Jane encountered and many employers – whether due to explicit or implicit bias – who punish employees when their personal lives seep into the workplace – something a victim of domestic violence cannot always control.
We vow to keep fighting - Will you stand with us?
This is critical time to push back against violence toward women, the LGBTQ community and societal views that condone such conduct or blame the victim. But we can't do it alone. You can help people like Jane gain autonomy, remain employed and assert legal recourse against their abusers by supporting the Gender Equality Law Center, today.
* The client's real name has been changed for her privacy.