Training Review
What Would You Do?

Below are some scenarios from the DVD film shown in the A Day In the Life training. After viewing each scenario, consider which of the Signs of an Abusive Relationship are indicating that the employee shown might be in an abusive relationship. You also should review or print the Power and Control Wheel to recall the tactics that are frequently used by abusers to gain power and control in an abusive relationship.

Scenario One

See It! What are the signs that this employee might be in an abusive relationship?

Signs of anxiety and fear

The victim may exhibit uncharacteristic signs of anxiety and fear. In this scenario her co-worker noticed she became anxious and fearful if she was not in the front of the store when her husband came in.

Minimization and denial of harassment or injuries

The victim may minimize or deny what is happening in the relationship. She may make excuses for the abuser’s behavior, or deny the harassment or injuries all together. In this scenario when her co-worker discussed what she saw (anxiety and fear), the victim laughed it off and dismissed the behavior as just being the way her husband was.

Scenario Two

See It! What are the signs that this employee might be in an abusive relationship?


The abuser may try to curtail the victim’s social interaction and may prevent her from going to work or lunch or being with friends and family. The abuser may tell her who she can be with and wants to know where she is all the time. In this scenario her coworker noticed that she always had to report in by calling when she got to work, when she left for lunch and when she got back from lunch.

Restricted Transportation

The victim may not be able to travel to work and depends on her abuser for transportation. This is also an attempt to isolate her and control where she goes, who she goes with and when she is able to travel.

Attempts to Hide Activities or Interactions from Partner

The victim may try to hide activities or interactions from partner because she is worried about how the abuser will react. In this scenario the victim was told her employer she was not allowed to work with males. A common characteristic of an abuser and an abusive relationship is jealousy.

Absenteeism or Late for Work

The victim may be absent or late for work due to exhaustion or injuries. In this scenario her co-worker tells us that she would often be late or absent from work due to the abuse or she had no one to watch her children.

An Unusual Number of Phone Calls, Faxes or Email

The abuser may constantly check up on the victim by calling, faxing, emailing or text messaging her. Or, the victim may need to constantly be using the phone to call her abuser. In this scenario she had to call her husband when she left for lunch and when she returned. Other employees also reported that he would call the store constantly looking for her and demanding to speak with her.

See It! What are some of the tactics the abuser is using to gain power and control?


Controlling what she does, who she sees and talks to, what she reads, where she goes, limiting her outside involvement and using jealousy to justify her actions. In this scenario she had to report in to her husband throughout the day. He had to know where she was at all moments of time.

Using Male Privilege

Treating her like a servant, making all the big decisions, acting like the “master of the castle”, being the one to define men’s and women’s roles. In this scenario her husband told her that she was not allowed to work alone with men.

Using Children

Making her feel guilty about the children, using the children to relay messages, using visitation to harass her, threatening to take the children away. In this scenario the victim often missed work because of something the abuser had done.

Say It! What might you say or do to help the victim?

If you were working with the victim in this scenario and saw the above signs think about what you might say to her. Some things to keep in mind:

  • Let the employee know what you have observed in a nonjudgmental way.
  • Express concern about what you are seeing.
  • Make a statement of support.
  • Provide her with information about who she can talk with and other resources available for her.

Scenario Three

If you saw the signs talked about in this clip, and the co-worker was denying abuse what might you say or do to help the victim?

Say It! What might you say or do to help the victim?

Tell Her What You See

“I’ve noticed a change in your work in the past few months. You seem distracted, not as productive and are frequently late for work or need to leave early.”

Express Concern

“I’m concerned about you and your work performance.”

Show Support

“Are you okay? Is there anything I can do to help you improve or get back on track?”

Provide Information, Not Advice

“I just want you to know that if there is anything going on you can tell me. And if any of this is because of your boyfriend/husband hurting you or trying to control you that’s not okay. No one deserves to be hurt by anybody; including a boyfriend or husband.”

Refer to Area Resources

“You’re not alone. Maybe it would be helpful to talk with someone who understands what you are going through. I have a phone number for a confidential hotline we can call together if you want.”