Joyful Heart in the News

The NFL's response to domestic violence and sexual assault

Dec. 5, 2014

In the late summer of 2014, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell came face-to-face with overwhelming public outcry, backlash and significant disappointment among the league's fan base after mishandling a very public act of domestic violence committed by one of its players, as well as additional high-profile abuse cases. Commissioner Goodell and his team have worked hard to learn as much as they can about these issues and how best to address them.

Though no one can prevent these terrible crimes from being committed, the NFL can move forward to help those in its vast network of players, coaches, staff and their families who may need it and take steps towards preventing domestic violence and sexual assault before they happen.

This article is intended to provide both information and transparency as the league continues on what will be a very long journey towards making a real impact - inside and outside the NFL. Below is an outline of the league's work-to-date.

Domestic violence and sexual assault know no boundaries - not socio-economic, racial, religious, gender, age, sexual orientation or education. These issues affect every community across the nation. No one is immune.

Yet despite the astounding prevalence - 1 in 4 women reporting being abused by a husband or boyfriend in her lifetime, and 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys being sexually abused before the age of 18 - domestic violence and sexual assault remain hidden and often quite misunderstood.

When faced with these issues in the summer of 2014, it quickly became clear that the NFL needed to know and do more.


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