The public health issue of domestic violence is plagued by its invisibility and misperceptions at the societal level. These two factors combined profoundly impact society's response to both the problem of domestic violence and the victims.
As a man trying to raise another man, I refuse to continue or cultivate a culture of, "Well, she was asking for it" or "Well, she shouldn't have provoked me." I will instead raise my son to make the CHOICE to be a good man.
So how can faith communities help trauma victims on their journey to a state of healing that may one day enable them to reap the benefits of true forgiveness? Here are three ways suggested by research and those with experience in working with survivors.
After reviewing the footage and analyzing a series of bad plays since Janay Rice's attack, it's clear that the victims of domestic violence whose attackers play for professional sports associations are in desperate need of a strong defensive lineup.
Athletes have a unique role to play in triggering attitudinal change regarding violence against women. When they are instigators of this behavior, it sends a message that it is somehow acceptable because our heroes are involved.
In the last decade, more women were killed by an intimate partner using a gun than troops killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Come November, women across party lines may reward candidates working to solve problems, rather than leaning on partisan perceptions.
In its tone-deaf punishment against Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, it not only failed to match the punishment to the crime, it failed all those in our communities nationwide who rally against domestic violence.
It is a sports culture built around masculinity that has run amok, so out of control that allows for and defends Ray Rice's assaults, Stephen A. Smith's blame of women, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's two-game punishment.
Some have called the new ad "dramatic" others have said it was "chilling," "haunting" or "grisly." I call it real. In an average month, 48 women in this country are shot to death by current or former intimate partners.
A real leader acknowledges quickly that rules must often change immediately. A real leader of the NFL better understand the role of violence in that sport -- its uses, its value, its expressions, and its costs.