Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fwd: Not just a suicide, NFL petition

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Players on 21 NFL teams have faced domestic assault or sexual assault charges. Ask the NFL to require counseling and intervention services for players who have committed domestic violence.

Mark -
On December 1st, pro football player Jovan Belcher killed Kasandra Perkins, the mother of their three month old daughter, before he killed himself in front of coaches at a Kansas City Chiefs practice facility. The media was shocked by his suicide, but they seemed to forget about the murder.
The National Football League (NFL) has a disturbing history of domestic violence. In August, Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson was arrested for headbutting his wife. Last March, Brandon Marshall was accused of punching a woman in the face outside a nightclub. Those aren't even all the assaults this year.
In fact, out of 32 NFL teams, players on 21 have at some point faced domestic assault or sexual assault charges.
As a professional child therapist, I work with families in domestic violence situations at an organization called House of Ruth Maryland. I know how devastating violence can be for partners, children, and even the perpetrators themselves. And the sad truth is that without proper treatment, it's a vicious cycle that goes on and on.
This isn't just an issue that affects NFL players and their partners -- it also affects women all over America. 1 in 4 women will face domestic violence in her lifetime, and studies show that violence goes up by 10% when the local NFL team lost a game it was expected to win.
The NFL has shown an admirable commitment to women's health and mental health, promoting breast cancer awareness as well as providing counseling services for players who need it. But for players who have assaulted their partners or family members, the NFL must do more.
People have used petitions on to help victims of domestic violence before: just this fall, petitions convinced Verizon and Sprint to change their policies so victims won't have to pay to break their cell phone contracts. I know that if enough people sign my petition, we can convince the NFL to take a stand and intervene when players have committed domestic violence.
Thank you,
Gretchen Tome
Baltimore, Maryland

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