NFL's New Domestic Violence Policy Has Local Officials Hopeful
Lynchburg, VA —
The NFL announced this week that it's making major changes to the way they respond to players committing acts of domestic violence.
Players and employees can now face stiffer suspensions for acts of assault, battery and violence.
The NFL rarely publicly admits to a misstep. However, in a letter sent to team owners, Commissioner Roger Goodell says he has mishandled previous cases, including Baltimore running back Ray Rice, who was suspended for just 2 games, after being accused of assaulting his fiancee.
Under the new NFL Policy, players and NFL employees face heavier sanctions. A first time offense can garner a player a 6 game suspension, while a second violation will force a player to sit out the year.
Local officials, like Linda Ellis-Williams at the YWCA Domestic Violence Prevention Center, say this type of punishment, hopefully, sends the right message home to younger fans. She says "From a young boy looking in, and seeing a role model of his violate someone's safety, and harm someone else, and yet suspended for 2 weeks. What does that say to a young boy growing up? That its ok? So it's time for us to hold those players, who are role models, accountable."
Ellis-Williams says that education and awareness are key to breaking the cycle of domestic violence.She, and many others, hope that this is a positive first step towards ending violent attacks.