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Ray Rice’s suspension and termination are primary steps to creating a stronger NFL response to domestic violence

Press release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 8, 2014
Media Contact: Jessica Merrill, Communications & Development Manager: jessica@cpedv.org (916) 444-7163, x118

Ray Rice’s suspension and termination are primary steps to creating a stronger NFL response to domestic violence
California teams’ commitment to prevention work now needed

SACRAMENTO— The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (the Partnership) considers Ray Rice’s termination and suspension necessary steps to improving perpetrator accountability in football teams across the country. Rice’s violent assault of his partner is a critical issue with serious health consequences. The Partnership believes that the seriousness of this incident is just as significant with or without the recently-released video recording.

Crimes like this are not only affecting the partners of celebrities and sports figures—they are harming victims throughout the nation and state. According to the California Women’s Health Survey, approximately 40% of California women experience physical intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. Domestic violence is a larger public health problem that should be addressed by defining what healthy relationships look like and using this model to promote prevention.

Partnership Executive Director Kathy Moore believes that now is the time to collaborate with the three California NFL teams on this type of prevention. “We’ve reached out to all three teams— the San Francisco 49ers, the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders—to work together on promoting healthy relationships. We have the opportunity to join in solidarity for a common goal and create real change in our state.” Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which occurs in October, provides a timely opportunity to create more dialogue around the prevalence and cost of abusive relationships, helpful resources for victims and plans for prevention.

The public response to Ray Rice’s initial punishment of a two-game suspension generated outrage not only from advocates, but a broad community of concerned individuals, including athletes and sports reporters. Their collective response sent a strong statement to the NFL that teams have a responsibility to create firm expectations of respectful behavior in relationships. It also sent a message that victims are not to be blamed for their abusers’ behavior.

The Partnership and its member programs are continuously working on promoting healthy relationships and providing life-saving services that help victims of domestic violence. For more information, visit www.cpedv.org.

About the Partnership
The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (the Partnership) is California’s recognized domestic violence coalition, with organizational and individual members across the state. Working at the local, state and national levels for nearly 30 years, the Partnership has a long track record of successfully passing over 100 pieces of legislation on behalf of domestic violence victims and their children. The Partnership believes that by sharing expertise, advocates and legislators can end domestic violence. Every day we inspire, inform and connect all those concerned with this issue, because together we’re stronger. With offices in Sacramento, the Partnership’s member programs span the entire state.

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