October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which has been recognized every October since its inception in 1981. Studies have shown that an astonishing 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and about 85% of domestic violence victims are women. Recent events have shed light on the seriousness of domestic violence, and how it may occur at any place, any time, and across all communities.
Ray Rice and the NFL: A disturbing video of Ray Rice punching his fiancée, Janay Palmer, inside an elevator was released by TMZ. The football player was suspended for two games before the release of video footage. Controversy ensued, with the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, stating that the two game, ‘light,’ suspension was issued prior to the release of the video, and a full knowledge of the extent of the attack. Nonetheless, the NFL is now aware of the dangers of domestic violence within their ranks, and has introduced a tougher domestic violence policy and response.
Hope Solo and US Soccer: Solo is awaiting trial in November on two counts of domestic violence in an incident involving her sister and nephew. Occurring around the same time as the Ray Rice scandal, Solo was on the verge of breaking a record -- rather than receiving a suspension, she was allowed to continue playing. Many sport’s enthusiasts are concerned that domestic violence is not dealt with as aggressively when the abuser is a woman.
Because these incidents involve role models in the sporting industry, they have received a lot of attention from the media, and have helped raise awareness of a very serious issue. Awareness, though, and action should continue beyond Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
It should be noted that the NFL only took action after video evidence of the domestic violence incident was released, suggesting the significance of impartial evidence when combating domestic violence. Such evidence can come from mounted videos, or eyewitness observations captured by the cameras embedded in our Smartphones.
And, with the introduction of Public Safety Mobile Apps like sci-Shot, eyewitness accounts of suspect conduct or conditions are encouraged. From the mildly suspicious to the obvious, sci-Shot ensures that all picture and video records are stored confidentially and available to law enforcement across all communities as corroborating evidence. There is never a consequence for getting involved, and anonymity is guaranteed.
Next time you see something that raises concern, get your eyewitness observations to sci-Shot. Domestic violence can occur anyplace, anytime, and to anybody. Let’s protect the victims, and keep an eye out for troublesome conduct or evidence of domestic violence.
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