A Matter of Life and Death – Tina's Story
By Kim Wells, Executive Director, Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence

Partner violence sometimes comes closer to home than you think. Even when you are the Executive Director of an organization like CAEPV.

On Thursday, October 26, 2000, a woman who was an employee of my husband's social service agency did not show up for work. Her supervisor was concerned, and called the police. The police found her—murdered. They also found her two year old son—alive, and wandering around looking for his mother. Tragically, his father (the mother's ex-boyfriend) allegedly stabbed her to death when she brought the boy to his father's house for a pre-arranged visit.

There is a sad irony to the timing of this horrific event. On the following day, the leadership team where my husband is employed was scheduled to take up the issue of "partner violence and the workplace" – including how they should begin to implement a policy and programs to raise awareness, educate, and assist their employees.

On November 5, my husband had the opportunity to represent his company at a candlelight vigil in honor of Tina, the woman from his organization who died, as well as to honor others who'd lost their lives due to domestic violence in the past year. He spoke about the woman who died, about the tragedy of a little boy with no mother, and the shock and sadness that overtook his agency. I thought I would share what he had to say with you:When my husband told me what happened to Tina, he said "Please don't ever think that what you do doesn't matter. Maybe if we would have known better what we could have done at our workplace, Tina's situation may have had a different outcome. We know we can't save Tina now, but we can do something in her honor in hopes that we can help prevent this from happening to anyone else."

Please remember—what you do to prevent partner violence in your workplaces matters where it counts most—in changing people's lives. Thank you for being part of the "ripple effect" that works to end partner violence.