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District Attorney declines to prosecute Ray McDonald – strong prevention and education efforts from the 49ers are still important

Press release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 11, 2014 Media Contact: Jessica Merrill, Communications & Development Manager: (916) 444- 7163, x118

District Attorney declines to prosecute Ray McDonald - Strong prevention and education efforts from the 49ers are still important

SACRAMENTO—Yesterday, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office announced that the 49ers’ Ray McDonald will not face domestic violence charges. The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (the Partnership) appreciates the District Attorney’s careful examination of the case and respects the standard of evidence necessary to fulfill a burden of proof in criminal cases like this. Though the Partnership did not have in-depth access to this case, we know that domestic violence is broadly underreported and that victims’ cooperation with the criminal justice system often entails important safety considerations. Regardless of whether or not a case is tried in court, it is essential that communities support victims seeking safety and local domestic violence organizations providing critical services.

Furthermore, as public outcry and ensuing media coverage of the League’s responses to domestic violence wanes, Californians should ensure that attention to this serious issue continues. Commissioner Goodell’s September announcement indicated that all NFL personnel will participate in educational trainings on domestic violence. The Partnership, representing domestic violence organizations and advocates across the state, is the recognized subject-matter experts in California. Our network has a deep understanding of domestic violence, offers strong educational resources, and is poised and ready to partner with teams to implement this education and increase public awareness in California.

This particular criminal case in Santa Clara County will now rest, but Partnership Executive Director Kathy Moore sees opportunities for California teams to broaden their prevention efforts: “The 49ers, Raiders and Chargers have a responsibility to use their significant place in the public eye to positively influence our culture and contribute to the prevention of domestic violence across our state.” These NFL teams and other professional sports in California have the ability to be catalysts for change by partnering with state and local domestic violence experts leading public education and prevention efforts that engage men and boys and promote healthy relationships.

Moore believes that now is the time to collaborate with athletics from all levels (professional, collegiate, highschool and even younger) to speak out against abuse and model safe, respectful and healthy relationships: “Throughout October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we saw educational institutions like Fresno State and Butte College partnering with local programs in our #InterceptDV campaign. With Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month coming up in February, we anticipate even more opportunities for innovative collaborations between athletics and local domestic violence organizations in communities across the state.”

When asked about her hope for collaboration, Moore said, “We’re at a pivotal moment and now is the time to join in solidarity – sports teams, schools, businesses, legislators and more. In order to create lasting change and really achieve our vision of a California free from domestic violence, we need sustained energy and commitment to finding solutions.”

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. For more information, visit