This past year, media attention about domestic violence increased with NFL players taking center stage. This situation forced the NFL to directly confront the issue of Domestic Violence and begin to take an active role in advocating against Domestic Violence. No longer is the topic of domestic violence pushed into the shadows of the media.
With hopes of preventing and ending the cycle of domestic violence, Troy Vincent, currently the NFL executive vice president of Football Operations, spoke to the U.S Senate Committee on the NFL’s policies addressing players and violence against women. Vincent’s speech not only was honest and emotionally driven, but was effective in actively taking steps towards correcting the NFL’s polices on violence:
“Domestic violence was a way of life in my home growing up. As young boys, my brother and I watched helplessly numerous times as our mother was beaten, and we called 911 while she lay unconscious. We saw how she struggled to seek help, and find the voice and courage to say “no more.” The sense of fear, powerlessness, and all the complexities that accompany this violence remain very real for me today. I have worked for over 20 years as an advocate against domestic violence to try to help keep others from experiencing this pain. So I very much relate to the more than 12 million victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in every community in this nation, amongst every economic class and racial and ethnic group. This is not an issue limited to the NFL, or to professional sports.”
Troy Vincent is Good Shepherd Shelter’s September’s Hero of Domestic Violence, due to his words turning into actions. The NFL has begun several programs and resources to help further educate, heal, and care for the players and family members associated with the issue of domestic violence. These programs include:
· Mandatory domestic violence and sexual assault education to help identify what may lead to violence and how to prevent it.
· NFL Life Line—a confidential, secure and independent resource for any personal or emotional crisis
· Personal Conduct Policy—establishes clear expectations and standards for all personnel in the NFL
Vincent encourages not only individuals in the NFL, but all of society to take action and “speak boldly to end domestic violence.” Vincent has set an example not only to his teammates and the NFL, but also the general public. He openly shares his story as a means to remove the shame and stigma from the topic of domestic violence, and to help encourage individuals to seek help. Good Shepherd Shelter agrees with Vincent, that we “all have a role to play” in helping end the cycle of domestic violence, and it starts with dialogue!
Watch Troy Vincent’s full testimony below:
Troy Vincent and the National Domestic Violence Hotline: