The Kilic tragedy and the events that foreshadowed it illustrate one component of workplace violence: violence by a domestic partner or arising from another personal relationship that then follows someone to work. Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior in which one intimate partner uses physical violence, coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation and emotional, sexual or economic abuse to control the other partner in a relationship.* Stalking or other harassing behavior is often an integral part of domestic violence.

* American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence; A Guide for Employees: Domestic Violence in the Workplace (Washington, D.C.: 1999) p. 11.

According to one study, five percent of workplace homicides (that is, about one-third of homicides not associated with a robbery or other “stranger” crime) fall into this category.*

Homicides, of course, represent a tiny fraction of workplace incidents related to domestic violence. Far more frequent are cases of stalking, threats, and harassment. Often those acts are criminal offenses in their own right; however, even when harassment may not meet the legal standard for criminal penalties, it can be frightening and disruptive not just for the person who is the target, but for coworkers as well.