A woman is victimized in a domestic assault every 9 seconds...
...according to Domestic Violence Statistics in the U.S. If you do the math that translates into approximately 1,200 women being victimized by domestic abuse during the three hours or so it takes for the New England Patriots to dismantle a Sunday night opponent.
Some may say it’s a “buzz kill” to broach such a serious subject in the same breath as sports entertainment. However, the prevalence of domestic violence is a sobering social problem that cannot be ignored in good conscience - whether in the NFL, other professional sports, or in the homes of silent victims who are not household names.
Did you know?
Recent studies have shown that - not only is there a higher incidence of domestic violence among NFL players - there is also a link between football-watching fans and domestic violence?
As the New York Times reported in "Football Upsets Increase Domestic Violence", a study by two economists who analyzed police reports of family violence on Sundays during the professional football season found that “upset losses by the home team were associated with higher rates of domestic violence.”
“In fact,” the study indicated, “an upset typically led to an 8 percent increase in police reports of at-home incidents where a man attacked a female partner. Upset losses in games involving a traditional rival had an even bigger effect on the rate of partner violence as did unexpected losses after games involving an unusual number of sacks, turnovers or penalties.”
This is not a new problem. Still, conscientious educators are always on the look-out for “teachable moments” – moments like the surfacing of the video tape that showed NFL running back Ray Rice knocking his fiancé unconscious in a Las Vegas hotel elevator.
Colleges in Boston are accutely aware of this problem and many have initiated programs aimed at the source of the problem.
Fisher College Athletic Director Scott Dulin invited domestic abuse expert Laura Joyce to speak to the school’s athletes in Alumni Hall – not because the campus is rife with abuse allegations, but because with the heightened focus on domestic violence, it’s an opportune time to tackle the problem head-on as many young athletes and fans are riveted by the widespread news coverage of abuse allegations against professional athletes.
Joyce discussed the importance of student-athlete performance and how it can be helped or hampered by off-the-field conduct. She emphasized that as a student-athlete, “everything that you do is in the spotlight,” including what student-athletes post on social media.
She also engaged the audience with an analysis of Ray Rice’s now infamous elevator encounter. She got the student-athletes to share their thoughts on what Rice could have done differently and even addressed the thorny question of what to do if you feel provoked or were hit first during an argument.
After the presentation, freshman baseball player Omar Goveo said, “Today made me think to be more mature about situations. Don't just act like another person. Be more mindful of your own response."
Sophomore softball player Jaliyah Raymond said she was glad Fisher College invited Joyce and hoped there would be more presentations on the topic for the entire student body.
“I think it would be very beneficial to include all students in an event like this to raise awareness," Raymond said.
What ideas or suggestions do you have to curb the incidence of domestic/sexual abuse?
Campus safety is a priority for all universities and colleges in Boston this Fall. Take advantage of the systems and resources made available to you. If you are lucky enough to be a Fisher College student this year, don't forget to download the FREE Life Button 24 app.
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