Last month marked the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Violence Against Women Act. This historic act has saved lives, improved access to justice, built critical infrastructure for support services and broken ground in changing the culture that breeds this epidemic.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness MonthAccording to the CDC, more than one out of every three women in the U.S. has experienced some form of violence at the hands of an intimate partner in her lifetime. Sometimes domestic violence can follow women to the workplace: Research shows that more women in the U.S. die on the job as a result of domestic violence than they do at the hands of a client or a co-worker. And we know that although domestic violence can occur in families at every income level or economic status, the rates of abuse tend to be higher among women with limited financial resources. So that women, especially mothers, who have financial resources, good jobs and job security are more likely to leave an abuser.

And even if a woman is gainfully employed, the abusive relationship can upset or completely sabotage a survivor’s economic status by interfering with access to cash, preventing her from going to work, or interfering with childcare arrangements. In a recent blog, White House Advisor on Violence against Women Lynne Rosenthal estimated that more than 8 million paid days of work are lost each year because of domestic violence.

Some cities and states have taken steps that assist in survivors’ ability to maintain their financial footing. These include “sick and safe” time-off laws that provide paid protected time off for survivors for counseling, legal assistance, medical attention and expanded unemployment insurance provisions. Public-private partnerships are working to raise awareness on broader community and workplace impacts. And the White House has taken key actions in the past few years, including calling on federal agencies to address issues related to domestic violence on the federal workforce and launching broad-reaching campaigns such as 1is2many and It’s on Us.

During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we are reminded that millions of women still experience domestic violence every year, and violence against women touches all of us – in our personal lives, in our communities, in our schools and even where we work.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please get help by contacting the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or visiting

Latifa Lyles is the director of the Women’s Bureau.


5 Ways to Promote Shared Prosperity

by Secretary Tom Perez October 22, 2014

On Monday, I gave a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, outlining the importance of an economy that works for everyone where prosperity is broadly shared. Even as we’ve bounced back strongly from the Great Recession, too many people are still working harder but falling further behind, struggling to punch their ticket to [...]

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Expect. Employ. Empower. with Data

by Heidi Shierholz and Kathy Martinez October 22, 2014

October marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual observation that recognizes the significant contributions people with disabilities make to our workforce. It also gives us a chance to think about how we can continue to build an economy that gives everyone a fair shot. As President Obama stated in his NDEAM proclamation, “Americans with [...]

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Working Together for a Future of Safe Jobs

by Joseph Main October 21, 2014

Yesterday, I had the privilege of sitting down with Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and about 30 business owners and industry leaders representing an important part of the nation’s mining sector to discuss mine safety, jobs, skills and training needs, and preparing for the future. Secretary Perez, the industry, and Department of Labor participants laid [...]

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A Small Business Owner’s Perspective: “A High Road on the Minimum Wage”

by Paul Saginaw October 20, 2014

Editor’s Note:This is cross-posted on the White House blog. My partner, Ari Weinzweig, and I never subscribed to the conservative economic theory of Milton Friedman, that “the business of business is business.” To us, the right to conduct business is earned by being a good corporate citizen — by producing products and delivering services responsibly, [...]

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The Fissured Workplace

by David Weil October 17, 2014

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of several blog posts about a Wage and Hour Division for the 21st Century Workplace. The 21st century workplace in many industries is no longer a traditional brick and mortar company owned and operated by a single employer. As a result, the Wage and Hour Division, [...]

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50 Years of Helping Farmworkers

by Portia Wu October 16, 2014

For years, Julian performed the incredibly hard work of harvesting onions and vegetables at a farm in upstate New York, making only $8.50 an hour. As a seasonal farm worker, the pay was barely enough to take care of his family.  He wanted to make a change, learn some new skills and start a new [...]

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Boosting Wages Boosts Demand

by Frank Knapp October 15, 2014

The biggest problem facing small businesses is the lack of demand for their goods and services. If the Great Recession is technically over and Wall Street is booming, why haven’t small businesses seen a real increase in consumer demand? There’s a simple answer: consumers who are or could be shopping on Main Street don’t have [...]

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Safety and Broadband Must go Hand in Hand

by Secretary Perez and Chairman Wheeler October 15, 2014

Editor’s Note: The following post by Secretary Perez and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Wheeler is also cross-posted on the FCC blog. The wireless industry is a powerful driver of growth in our economy. New facilities pop up all the time, giving the devices in our pockets and purses better service and faster broadband connections. Our [...]

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Disability Employment Champions of Change

by Kathy Martinez October 14, 2014

Today I had the distinct pleasure of attending a White House event to honor Disability Employment Champions of Change, who have done extraordinary work to promote workplace inclusion and to create employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. One of the highlights of the event was the screening of a new public service announcement Who I [...]

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