On the Seal Beach Tragedy & Domestic Violence in the WorkplaceKatherine Stone
Salon Meritage was a place Seal Beach, California, locals went to touch up their roots or get a fresh new look. Until yesterday.
Police have arrested Scott Evans De Kraai in the deadliest shooting in the history of Orange County, California. De Kraai, 42, was wearing a bulletproof vest when he entered the salon and opened fire, killing eight people, including his ex-wife Michelle De Kraai.
Neighbors of the couple say their divorce had been a nasty one, and USA Today reports that Michelle and “… her ex-husband were involved in a bitter custody dispute over their son.” Apparently, they had been divorced for several years and Scott Evans De Kraai had since remarried.
The tragedy in Seal Beach is yet another example of domestic violence and how it can spread to the workplace. The Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence website states that, “Homicide was the second leading cause of death on the job for women in 2003, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) … Fifteen percent (15%) of the 119 workplace homicides of women in that year were attributed to a current or former husband or boyfriend.”
Looking at the Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary data for 2010, while the majority of victims of workplace homicide are male, it’s interesting to note the differences in who commits the crime: “Robbers and other assailants made up 72 percent of assailants for men, and 51 percent of assailants for women. Relatives and other personal acquaintances accounted for only 4 percent of assailants of homicides for men, but 28 percent for women.”
While some tragedies, like perhaps the one in Seal Beach, may not be preventable, it’s important to know that there are things employers can do to protect their employees against domestic violence. For more information, visit the Safe At Work Coalition.
Photo credit: NBC Los Angeles