I worked in a battered women’s shelter for several years early in my social work career. At one point, we had a woman hiding at the shelter whose husband had had a successful career in sports. He was so well known that the police were reluctant to help her. She was scared to death of being murdered by him. She was right to be scared him.
I am a big proponent of efforts to challenge domestic violence as a norm that we accept.
Recently, I stumbled upon this movement by an organization called Ultraviolet. Read about how this NFL player is a purported predator who beat his fiancee’ and then got a weaker sentence from the NFL than if he had received a tattoo. He gets to miss two games and he gets paid for it. As a punishment? Are you kidding me? I can see it now. A big plate of nachos, a beer, and laughter while he contentedly watches the game from his La-Z-Boy. Lucky dude.
I received an email that encouraged me to call the NFL and I did. You might consider doing this too. Here’s what the email from Ultraviolet said:
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a shockingly short suspension for running back Ray Rice, who was arrested in February after knocking his wife out cold. Hotel surveillance video shows him dragging her unconscious body out of an elevator. Since the NFL’s decision came down, reporters, sports analysts, and even comedians have criticized it as far too lenient. It’s time the NFL takes domestic violence seriously.
I made a phone call to the NFL–can you dial 212-450-2000 and join me? It takes just a few moments. Then record your call here:
I was once a victim of domestic violence, which I think I have shared somewhere in this blog. I was a 19-year-old college girl who unknowingly dated a guy who turned out to have this issue. Sadly, I found out later that he had been violent with previous girlfriends and that his mother was a sufferer of long-term abuse. (The cycle continues.) Sometimes, I look on the internet to see if he has killed anyone.
Interestingly, if this NFL player had hit someone and dragged them out of an elevator because of their race or because they were gay, we all know the consequences and the media uproar would be intense. Somehow, our world has become complacent and desensitized to violence against women. It is so normal it seems kinda’ normal.
Just a thought.
Pic by wikipedia.