As the largest and wealthiest sports organization in the U.S., the NFL ought to be a role model. It could show employers everywhere how to deal with domestic violence when it occurs within their institution, and what policies and core values can prevent it.
Posts Categorized: Stopping Violence Against Women
The head of a national women’s group says it’s “outrageous” that Bridgewater State University officials withheld the names of two men charged with rape on campus and did not notify students and staff about the incidents last month. “We know that rape is a serial crime,” said Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization of Women based in Washington, D.C. “The names of the accused rapists really need to be made public.”
When we discuss domestic violence, we most commonly tend to think about physical violence and sometimes, even mental or emotional abuse. Financial abuse and the lack of economic security are often neglected as very real consequences that survivors of domestic violence face.
The local chapter of the National Organization for Women blasts the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals saying the agency took no action to protect victims of sexual assault. This, after a policy change allowed for victims to be billed for related medical services at hospitals.
As college women returned to campus this month, their biggest concerns should have been the cost of books or which clubs to join. Instead, they bear the burden of fearing for their own safety.
So how do we, as women, stand up against victim blaming when it is so pervasive in our culture?
At the outbreak of the Ray Rice case, women broke that silence by taking to social media with the hashtag #WhyIStayed, directly confronting these questions by highlighting the countless reasons that women in abusive relationships often don’t have the choice to leave.
Steve Bisciotti’s press conference today is just another attempt at damage control, but it won’t work. The NFL’s violence against women problem can’t be “handled” or “managed” — it needs to be repaired.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s today did nothing to increase confidence in his ability to lead the NFL out of its morass.
O’Neill’s passion about public policy that works for the benefit of women is evident. She talks about every point with a conviction that seems born directly out of personal experience. While much of our conversation focused on economic justice, that’s just one of the six core issues NOW works to change. Constitutional equality, reproductive rights, racial justice, LGBT rights, and ending violence against women are also high on the NOW priority list. O’Neill says the equality for women can’t truly be achieved unless all of those issues are addressed.
Nor is football as a sport to blame for domestic violence and the broad cultural tolerance for violence against women. The institution is a product of a wider cultural problem, but that doesn’t mean it cannot play a huge part in changing the culture of violence.