Harbor House tackles domestic abuse at work

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Elizabeth Hamilton's terrifying ordeal ended with her ex-boyfriend's suicide on Interstate 95 in Brevard County.

It began when he kidnapped her from her job at the Lakeland Square Mall.

That does not surprise victim advocate Carol Wick.

"We see batterers not hiding behind closed doors anymore but abusing their partner wherever their partner happens to be," Wick said.

Wick says over and over again, that happens to be the workplace.

Last year, Bradford Baumet targeted his ex-girlfriend at the hair salon she owned. He killed three women.

Just last week, Yessenia Suarez was confronted by her husband at work and even struck her in front of coworkers. He is now charged in her slaying.

"If you have a coworker and you know that person is in a bad relationship, you're in danger too," Wick said.

Through Harbor House, Wick runs a program that trains managers, human resource departments and security teams on how to recognize the signs an employee may be the victim of abuse at home.

"Things like excessive phone calls at work, being late to work, having injuries that require missing work," Wick said.

In Orange County, 120 businesses alone have signed up for the training program that also includes around-the-clock access to a victim advocate.

The goal isn't just to help the employee but also catch the cases before they spill out into public places where suddenly anyone could be a victim.