Hoping you guys can weigh in on this one. A reader writes:
I have a friend and former coworker who is a victim of domestic violence. While I have not seen evidence of it at work (bruises), knowing this person, her work history, and having met the husband, I am certain she is a victim of domestic violence. The problem is I can’t prove this, nor is the police department of the state we live in likely to do anything if reported without proof.
However, do I report this to the HR department or campus security? (We both work at a private university, so the campus police can remove anyone from the property for any reason.) Also, since the coworker is going through some rough times, the chance of violence is increased. I am concerned that if reported to HR or security, there will be consequences against my friend from either HR or security.
Some additional information: They are seriously in debt, which my friend has kept from her husband in fear of the domestic violence. She borrowed some money from me at one point to pay bills, but I told her that was the last time I would do it. She told me she has done this before, from other family members and friends. And she recently asked again to borrow money, because the husband had drained their joint banking account. I told her no, and she tried to guilt me into it by saying he would beat her. I told someone else about the situation, and she agreed with me that there was a problem — but neither of us were convinced that informing the local police departments that anything would be done. This other person was also a victim of domestic violence, so she has some knowledge of what happens in these situations. I know some victims of domestic violence, and she has the same manerisms of those people and including the stories she has told various people, all of which are consistent in the details, I am convinced of the problem.
Ugh, this is awful on many fronts. Readers, what are your thoughts?