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Giants Game Day for Domestic Violence Awareness
On October 25, 2015 more than 80,000 New York Giants fans said NO MORE to domestic violence and sexual assault at a special home game against the Dallas Cowboys in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We were proud to join with the Giants and the White Plains-based domestic violence organization My Sisters' Place for this special day.
You may have seen Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich in Joyful Heart’s NFL Players NO MORE PSA campaign. Mark chose to speak out in the PSAs after his wife, Danielle, shared her story of growing up in a violent home—physically and emotionally abused by her father in her childhood. Like many people, Mark thought that domestic violence happened to other people. When Danielle disclosed her experience to him, it compelled him to take a stand and be an example for other to do their part in ending violence:
"Danielle’s story changed my entire outlook. Yes, the majority of men don’t commit violence against women, but men over all need to stand up to other men. Don’t just hold yourself accountable. Hold others accountable to treat women how they deserve to be treated."
You can read more about Mark and Danielle’s story in The New York Times.
With Mark and Danielle’s commitment to this issue, the Giants partnered with Joyful Heart and My Sisters’ Place to dedicate this game to survivors of domestic violence, get the message out about these urgent issues and encourage fans to use social media to speak out about domestic abuse. As fans entered the stadium, they posed for photos with signs sharing an excused that they say NO MORE to. A message from Mark and Joyful Heart’s Founder & President, Mariska Hargitay aired on screens throughout the stadium as they streamed in, and volunteers from MSP handed out resource cards. Mariska did the coin toss, and a new Giants Say NO MORE PSA featuring Giants co-owner John Mara, head coach Tom Coughlin, produced by Joyful Heart and directed by Mariska, ran in the stadium, reaching a stadium of football fans with this important message, and thousands more online.
“Our role as men who are role models in society is to honor our women and protect the women in our lives. It’s us putting our foot down and not accepting people making jokes, people talking badly about women. A lot of people think being a real man is how tough you are, how physical you are and they see us as real men playing football, but really a real man is one who makes a safe home for his family, provides for them and protects them. That is what this NO MORE campaign is all about.”
- Mark Herzlich
We are so grateful to Danielle and Mark for their commitment to bring domestic violence into the light. For so long, conversations about these issues have been taking place on the margins. Now, we are bringing this conversation right to heart and center of American culture—football—right where the conversation belongs
“Bystanders must stand up and speak out to help end violence, and men play a particularly critical, urgent, and indispensable role. I am so encouraged by the commitment from the Giants and the steps these players have taken to say NO MORE. Being a leading partner in NO MORE from the beginning has been a great privilege. Society continues to misplace shame and blame on survivors—both women and men. That has to end.”
- Mariska Hargitay