In a bold move, Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football League, informed team owners that the NFL will increase its penalties for player’s involved in domestic violence cases.
“We need respected leaders and coaches to be role models,” states Barbara Langdon, LifeWire Executive Director. “Millions of viewers watch NFL Games every season. We applaud Roger Goodell for taking this opportunity to lead with tougher sanctions, hold players accountable and send a powerful message to the nation that domestic violence and sexual assault will not be tolerated. Domestic violence devastates the lives of too many women, men, youth and children. By enforcing these penalties the NFL can make a profound difference by being a role model in the fight to end domestic violence.”
The league’s policy concerning domestic violence could be a game-changing hit to San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald who was arrested early Sunday morning on felony domestic violence charges, according to the San Jose Police Department. McDonald, Height 6-3 Weight 290, was taken into custody after officers responded to reports of a violent altercation. The alleged victim, with visible injuries, is pregnant.
LifeWire’s mission is to end domestic violence. Regardless of your socio-economic status; race or background, domestic violence goes across all barriers. One in every four women and one in every seven men have experienced severe physical violence by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend.* If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, call LifeWire’s 24- Hour Helpline at 425-746-1940 or 1-800-827-8840. To learn more about domestic violence, visit LifeWire at www.lifewire.org
Prevention is key. “With the support of the Verizon Foundation, LifeWire is implementing the Coaching Boys into Men Program in local schools and the community,” explains Ward Urion, LifeWire Social Change Manager. “In this innovative program we work with coaches and athletic directors to deliver a powerful message about healthy relationships while working to change cultural norms that support domestic violence.”
“We are working to end domestic violence in our community. If you are in a position of power to send a message to end violence in our nation, be a leader and speak up,” states Urion. “The NFL has an exceptional opportunity to be a role model and effect social change at the national level.”
In a KNBR radio interview, 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh reiterated his zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence. “If someone physically abuses a woman and/or physically or mentally abuses or hurts a child, then there's no understanding," he said, "there's no tolerance for that.”
LifeWire is the largest provider of comprehensive domestic violence services and confidential shelter in Washington State, and is a nationally recognized leader in the field. Since 1982, LifeWire has been a lifeline for more than 124,000 victims and their children, offering safety, shelter, support, education and prevention services. LifeWire assists people with meeting their needs for safety, critical human services, advocacy, shelter, homelessness prevention and housing stability helping them become self-sufficient.