I’ve been mulling the Rice video and the NFL’s horrible response to it over the last week or so.
First, Domestic Violence is a SOCIETY issue…..not an NFL issue. NFL players are no more likely to beat their partners then the general population, it is actually less common. In fact, POLICE are the worst abusers of DV (power & the blue code of silence enables it) :
Police Have a Much Bigger Domestic Abuse Problem Than the NFL (Must Read)
Yet, they get to keep their guns and that is how most women will die in a DV situation.
Second, I believe that Ray Rice needed to be punished, but I don’t believe in banning him where he can’t work. I don’t know if he is a serial abuser or if it was the first time something like this has happened, we won’t know. I believe he and his wife should be helped. Because when you punish him that extensively, you are punishing her.
The NFL has totally screwed up on how they have handled it in todays social media and videos, but if it happened a few years ago….they handled it like they have always handled it…look up the history for both college and NFL football programs and how DV abusers were handled. And like majority of society has handled it, the history as been to ignore it…..it is nothing new, as this article states :
“Violence is tolerated as long as the player performs well and the act doesn’t become a public embarrassment”
The NFL needs to educate their people and help them, you can’t just punish, you need both. They need to be given a chance until they blow it.
I use to volunteer at a Women’s Shelter in Indiana, did it for almost 10yrs. You learn that it isn’t as simple as “why doesn’t she leave”, you learn that it is more complex, you learn that it can effect anyone, no matter of race, gender, money or social standing. Some just hide it better then others. You think “I won’t put up with it” and then learn that it can be more gradual, more stealthy then an obvious hit.
Stories to help you understand :
#WhyIStayed Stories Reveal Why Domestic Violence Survivors Can’t ‘Just Leave’
‘Why Didn’t You Just Leave?’
It takes an average of 7 times before a victim will leave their abusers and that is if they survive leaving them, some do not.
The emotional and mental abuse will do more damage in the long run then the physical, giving DV victims PTSD.
The pros out of this is that it may be finally shifting the conversation about DV, getting people to acknowledge it, fund the programs that need it, get help. With focusing on the NFL, a highly visible part of society, maybe it can set an example for country and perpetrators of DV that it isn’t acceptable and easily ignored like it use to be.
The cons is the focus is too much on the NFL overall, what about the Police and what about poor women and women of color (who experience DV at a higher then the general population)? Military spouses, made worst by PTSD and when I grew up on Army Posts, it was always worst on pay day due to the drinking.
I’ve seen former wives of high ranking military officers, women of high company executives and poor women a like come through the shelter. I’ve seen a little boy no more then the age of 6 yelling and screaming at his mom, calling her all sorts of names because that is what he grew up seeing. I’ve seen girls getting tied to their abuser in their teenage years and never being able to get out.
And yes, men can be and have been victims of DV, not just women.
This is complex society issue that needs to finally be addressed and not just swept aside as it has been in the past.
An Exit Action Plan For Leaving An Abusive Relationship
How To Stay Safe After Leaving An Abusive Relationship