North Park Elementary Active Shooter Highlights Harsh Reality Of Intimate Partner Violence

Whether it’s terrorism, workplace related violence, or intimate partner violence, tragedies occur that result in loss of life and mass disruption of the individuals and workplaces targeted. Karen Elaine Smith, the teacher who was gunned down in her North Park Elementary classroom along with 8-year-old student Jonathan Martinez, may not have known about her husband’s past. Cedric Anderson, Smith’s estranged husband and the gunman of the murder-suicide, had a criminal history that included domestic violence. Though police reports suggest Anderson’s history predated his relationship with Smith, it is likely she experienced some form of Intimate Partner Violence that led to this extreme situation. (Read the full story posted by The LA Times.)

Unfortunately, IPV is a common trigger for workplace violence. Here’s what you need to know about the connection between IPV and active shooters.

What is Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)?

The Center for Disease Control defines IPV as a “serious, preventable public health problem…[that] describes physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, and psychological aggression…by a current or former intimate partner.” While many of the acts affiliated with this form of abuse occur behind closed doors, it can easily move into the public sphere.

How does Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) impact the workplace?

There are a few ways in which this type of violence affects the workplace. While it is a direct impact on a victim who suffers from physical, emotional, and/or psychological abuse, the impact on an employer and its employees can be linked indirectly through the victim’s absence or directly through the perpetrator’s presence.

Think about this: “The Department of Labor reports that victims of domestic violence lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the U.S., resulting in a $1.8 billion loss in productivity for employers.” What share of that is your workplace taking? Additionally, an astounding 21 percent of full-time employees identify as IPV victims.

In addition to the money, hours, and productivity lost by employers, they can physically lose employees for good.

What does all this have to do with active shooters?

Active shooter situations have steadily risen since the start of the millennium, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and are projected to continue to increase. (For a list of 2016 mass shootings, click here.) Lethal Intimate Partner Violence has affected numerous workplaces across the country, ranging from day care centers to hospitals to grocery stores to department stores.

Because active shooter violence is generally seen as “happening rarely,” trainings tend to be lacking. However, this is not the case for the reality of active shooter situations.

How can you help your employees (and yourself)?

Get active shooter training. AEGIS offers four unique opportunities for educating you about active shooter situations, handling an active shooter, and saving yourself and others. Reporting employee concerns about Intimate Partner Violence may help save a life, but training your staff to protect themselves and others will save many lives. Visit to select the best fit for your workplace today.

AEGIS Security & Investigations is a Los Angeles region company that is licensed and insured in the State of California to provide high-end armed and unarmed regular and temporary off-duty police officers, bodyguards, security officers, loss prevention agents, and event staff. Additionally, we offer services for private investigation, consultation, people tracing, and background investigation. Our trainings and workshops in the field of security licensure and counter-terrorism have been featured in news media and are renowned for their efficacy. For more information or to contact us, visit