Jodi Porter showed up to work one day at Bon-Ton, a department store in New York City, at which time she told store security that her estranged husband had threatened to kill her the day before.
How did the store manager decide to handle such serious news?
Instead of implementing a safety plan and allowing her to remain at work, the manager sent her HOME!
Porter said she was told she was a threat to the store and needed to leave. “It was like a slap in the face,” she reportedly said. Adding insult to injury, she wasn’t even offered paid leave.
It doesn’t take a genius to know how dangerous it is to send a domestic violence victim home to where her abuser has direct access to her, especially following a threat to kill her. Aside from being dangerous, it’s just plain insensitive.
Porter said the next time she spoke to her manager; she was told she could only return to work if she got a protective order against her husband. Getting the restraining order would have been nearly impossible for Porter because it would require her husband to be served with papers and he was nowhere to be found because he fled after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Bon-Ton only started to change its tune after Porter called the attorney general’s office. She was then told she could return to work within a week and would be paid for her time off.
The store has since agreed to amend its policies so that abuse victims aren’t required to have restraining orders to be at work, Newser reports. They also will educate their employees about protections for abuse victims according to state law.
Not to downplay the store’s efforts to better accommodate domestic abuse victims following this incident, but certain things just shouldn’t require “education.” What ever happened to common sense? If someone is being abused, threatened, etc. Protect them! Don’t cast them away.
A person's life is more valuable than "store policy."
Banner Photo Credit: Flickr user Shanon Wise