Domestic violence and the NFL have spent significant time in the news lately. The disturbing footage that emerged of former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice severely beating his wife Janay, have done little to diminish Americans’ love for football and the big game. As parents of children who often wish to emulate professional athletes, we are collectively placed in the quandary of watching the game and being a fan, yet taking a decisive stand against such atrocious actions both in the NFL and across our communities.
Please consider these statistics, definitions, and consequences of the domestic violence as reported by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
- On average, nearly 20 people per minute are victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in the United States.
- During one year, this equates to more than 10 million Women and Men.
- 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.
- 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
- 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have experienced stalking victimization during their lifetime in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.
- On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
- In domestic violence homicides, women are six times more likely to be killed when there is a gun in the house.
- Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically.
WHY IT MATTERS
Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. Intimate partner violence is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior which is only a fraction of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, even death. The devastating consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime.
As responsible parents and citizens who wish to turn the epidemic tide of domestic violence in this country, we must be aware and enlightened on the matter. In his article, “This Is How You Can Help Stop Domestic Violence,” Chris Korman discusses the recent NFL events and response to domestic violence and practical steps, as outlined by the experts on the issue, that all of us can take to prevent and help someone who might be experiencing domestic violence. From awareness of what constitutes domestic violence to knowing how to discuss concerns with a loved one, there are excellent tips given on prevention and response. For too long, the NFL and our country have turned a blind eye to the tragedy of domestic violence. It must not take disturbing video footage of a celebrity beating his wife to take real action on this matter! Rather let us use this moment to become aware, prevent, and protect women, men, and children from this terrible scourge….