October 2, 2015: Professional Sports Leagues Respond to Domestic Violence
Did You Know?
Did you know that each of the major professional sports leagues in our country have policies and services to respond to domestic violence, whether their players are victimized or perpetrate violence?
MLB (Major League Baseball): The most recent league to implement a policy, MLB’s is a comprehensive response that includes investigation and discipline for current offenses, treatment and intervention for both the victim and the offender, and regular prevention education.
NBA (National Basketball Association): Domestic violence convictions are handled under the league’s rules about “Unlawful Violence” – players are immediately suspended for a minimum of 10 games, must get a clinical evaluation and attend counseling sessions. Additionally, NBA union officials said players already receive [prevention] training at least one year before they join the basketball league.
NFL (National Football League): The NFL’s policy, announced in December 2014, includes developing critical response teams for each team as well as prevention education programming for youth in football programs.
NHL (National Hockey League): Officials said they meet with players annually to discuss conduct and conduct and determine responses to domestic violence on a case-by-case basis.
Sources: Click on the hyperlinks above for more information.
What can we do?
o Watch the NFL’s Call to Coaches video
o Read this research overview on engaging men and boys and this research on how to mobilize men and boys as allies
Promote implementation of primary prevention programs such as:
o Coaching Boys into Men
o Teach Early
Attend George Mason University’s Healthy Masculinity workshop on 10/28.
Use social media to spread the word!
o DVAM: Did you know that all major professional sports leagues have policies in place to respond to #DomesticViolence? Let’s take their lead and promote prevention efforts, such as Teach Early, in youth sports leagues here in #FairfaxCounty. #DVAM2015 #LookAgain
o DYK we can help stop #domesticviolence through youth prevention efforts, such as #TeachEarly. #DVAM2015 #FairfaxCounty #LookAgain
[Go to: http://teachearly.org/, when you scroll down the page, social media links will pop up on the left.]
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)! Each business day in October, we send out a “DVAM: Did You Know?” highlighting interesting research findings and statistics or best practices in preventing and responding to domestic violence. Please share with your friends, family members, community groups, and colleagues.
October 1, 2015: Look Again at Domestic Violence in Fairfax County
Did You Know?
Did you know that every day in Fairfax County we respond to two people who are at high risk for homicide or serious physical injury at the hands of the person they love?
The Fairfax County Police Department has teamed up with the Fairfax County Office for Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, Artemis House (Shelter House, Inc.), Bethany House of Northern Virginia, the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, and the Victim Services Section of the FCPD to better predict and, ultimately, prevent serious injury and homicide from happening.
On July 1, 2015, those agencies started the Lethality Assessment Program. In the first two months of the program, over half (54%) of all domestic violence cases screened by FCPD were high-danger.
Of those cases, victims reported serious lethality risks, such as:
1. 33% reported the presence of a firearm in the home (or easy access to one)
The presence of a firearm makes it 5 times more like domestic violence will turn into murder.*
2. 55% reported stalking victimization (the offender following or spying on them or leaving threatening messages)
Nationally, 76% of femicide victims were stalked prior to their murder.
3. 64% reported a history of strangulation (often referred to as ‘choking’)
Strangulation is a serious crime that often leaves no visible injuries, even though it can create temporary or permanent brain damage in as little as 30 seconds.
A victim of domestic violence with a history of strangulation has a 800% increased risk of homicide.
*J. C. Campbell, D; Webster, J; Koziol-McLain, C. R; et al. 2003. Risk Factors For Femicide in Abusive Relationships: Results From A Multi-Site Case Control Study. American Journal of Public Health. 93(7). Accessed from: http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/userfiles/file/Children_and_Families/Guns.pdf
** Judith McFarlane et al., “Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide,” Homicide Studies 3, no. 4 (1999).] More at: http://www.victimsofcrime.org/docs/src/stalking-fact-sheet_english.pdf
*** Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Daniel Webster, Jane Koziol-McLain, et al. “Risk Factors for Femicide in Abusive Relationships: Results from a Multisite Case Control Study.” American Journal of Public Health, Volume 93, No. 7 (July 2003) 1089-1097. A study of 300 cases of strangulation survivors conducted by the San Diego City Attorney’s Office revealed that in 50% of the cases there were no visible markings to the neck and 35 % had only minor injuries (Strack, McClane & Hawley, 2001).
What can we do?
Let’s change those statistics! Educating ourselves and our community members is a good first start:
o Join us for a media event today at 1:30pm at the Historic Courthouse: https://fcpdnews.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/preventing-domestic-violence-homicide/!
o Use social media to spread the word! Post or tweet responsible media articles (like any on the LAP press release above) on the subject or simple facts about the issue. Find sample posts and tweets like these each day in the DVAM Did you Know? this month:
o DVAM: Did you know that #domesticviolence is a leading cause of homicide in Fairfax County? DV-related homicides are predictable and preventable. Please help spread the word that services and support are available. For help, call Fairfax County’s 24-hour Hotline: 703-360-7273.
o DYK #DomesticViolence is a leading cause of homicide in #FairfaxCounty? Help is available: 703-360-7273 (24 HR) #DVAM2015 #LookAgain http://bit.ly/ffxdv
o Start a conversation! Everyone can speak out against domestic violence. You may be the safest person for a family member, friend, neighbor, or coworker to talk to. Check out these tips:
o What to say when you think someone is being abused
o What to say if you suspect someone is using abusive behavior
Sandy Bromley, JD
Fairfax County-Wide Domestic Violence Coordinator
Office: (703) 324-9494 Cell: (571) 215-2429
Community Events & Resources: www.fairfaxdvcommunity.org
Fairfax County Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC)
Information & Intake Line: (703) 246-4573
Fairfax County Office for Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services
24-hour Hotline: (703) 360-7273
Northern Virginia Community College
Victims’ Rights Provisions – 2014
Sexual misconduct is not tolerated at Northern Virginia Community College. Reports of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking are taken seriously. It is important to NOVA that victims (complainants) are informed, protected, and respected. The complete Northern Virginia Community College Sexual Misconduct Policy is available online at www.nvcc.edu. More information about the College’s responsibilities under Title IX to address complaints of sexual violence can be found online.
The following rights are afforded to any NOVA student, staff, or faculty member who experiences such an incident. It is NOVA’s hope that these rights will provide you with adequate information from which to choose your options.
- CONFIDENTIALITY. Above all, confidentiality of victims must be protected. Identifying information of a victim will be protected as much as possible. This means that a victim’s name will not be published or otherwise publicized without her/his permission. When a person makes an official complaint to authorities, all possible protections will be afforded this individual, whether or not she/he participates in any investigation. When the College needs to act to protect the safety of others, absolute confidentiality may not be possible. For absolute confidentiality, contact NOVA Sexual Assault Services (see below for contact information).
TIMELY WARNINGS. Any timely warning that is broadcast through NOVA websites or emails for the safety of our community will not identify a victim by name.
- REPORTING OPTIONS. It is your choice whether or not you decide to report your victimization. At NOVA, there are several offices to report an incident if you choose to do so. See list below.College Police – 703-764-5000To report the incident and begin a criminal investigation
Local Police Department – 911
To report the incident and begin a criminal investigation with minimal college involvement
Campus Dean of Students – Contact the Dean Of Students at your own campus or center
To report the incident and begin a Student Code of Conduct investigation
Human Resources – 703-323-3110
To report the incident and begin a staff or faculty investigation
Sexual Assault Services – email@example.com or 703.338.0834 24 hour availability
***To access confidential support, advocacy and intervention for those affected by these issues
Title IX Coordinator – Mr. Therman Coles – 703-323-3266
To report the incident and begin an administrative Title IX investigation
- NO CONTACT or PROTECTIVE ORDERS. The College will honor any protective order that you may have acquired through the local courts. Please bring a copy of such a court order to the College Police for their information and enforcement. In addition, a NOVA administrative no contact order may be created by the Dean of Students or Title IX Coordinator once the incident is reported to that office.
- PRESERVING PHYSICAL EVIDENCE. If you are considering a criminal prosecution, it is extremely important to preserve all evidence of an assault. If you go to a hospital as a result of a penetrating sexual assault, you are entitled to a free evidence collection examination called a SANE exam. SANE stands for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. In Northern Virginia, the preferred hospital for such an exam is INOVA Fairfax, where they have specially trained nurses on call 24 hours a day for such purposes. INOVA Fairfax Hospital provides care to sexual assault victims no matter where in Northern Virginia the crime occurred. The nurse will collect the evidence and ask the police in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred to pick it up and store it for at least six months. The evidence will be in a box marked only with a number, not your name. You are not required to make an official police report for this evidence to be collected. If you later decide to make such a report, the hospital will give your name to the police and the evidence kit will be tested for possible use in a court case. For more information about how to preserve evidence, contact NOVA Police at 703.764.5000 or NOVA Sexual Assault Services at 703.338.0834.
- STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS. If you are a student and your perpetrator was also a student, then you may choose to report the incident (as the complainant) to your Dean of Students to begin a conduct process. This is not a court trial; you may or may not choose to contact the police to use this process. A hearing will be held on campus to determine whether the perpetrator is responsible for the act that you have reported. Sanctions for this process are confined to the College only and range from probation to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident. For more details, see the current NOVA Code of Student Conduct within the NOVA Student Handbook, accessed online or in hardback copy.
- HUMAN RESOURCES PROCESS. If you are an employee, then you may choose to report the incident to NOVA Human Resources, specifically to the Director of Human Resources, Employee Relations Specialist or the designated HR Campus Consultant. Additionally, you may also choose to contact College Police to use this process or to begin a criminal investigation.
- REQUESTS FOR CHANGES. You may request a change in academic setting (class or campus) or work assignment in order to be more clearly separated from the accused perpetrator. Such a request will be granted to the greatest extent possible. These requests should be made to the Campus Dean of Students or Title IX Coordinator (if you are a student) or the Director of Human Resources or Title IX Coordinator (if you are an employee). Requested changes will be made as soon as alternative arrangements can reasonably be made and regardless of whether you choose to pursue an investigation into your incident..
- FAIR AND IMPARTIAL INVESTIGATION AND RESOLUTION. You can expect a fair and just process as your complaint is handled, either through the Dean of Students, Human Resources, or Title IX Coordinator. You can obtain more information about these processes by accessing the Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook or Classified Staff Handbook, which can all be found online at www.nvcc.edu.
- RETALIATION CONCERNS. Threats, intimidation, and any form of retaliation for bringing a complaint of sexual misconduct are prohibited by the Sexual Misconduct Policy as well as Federal law and may be grounds for disciplinary action. If any retaliation occurs, it is important to contact either the Campus Dean of Students, the College Police, the Title IX Coordinator, and/or Human Resources.
- COMMUNITY RESOURCES. Since NOVA does not offer mental health counseling to students or employees, it is important to be aware of community resources that are both free and confidential. All offer 24 hour services. It is best to choose the service listed below that is closest either to your home or your campus. Every student or employee can use NOVA SAS, however, no matter where you live, work, or study.
NOVA CC- Sexual Assault Services (SAS)– firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.338.0834
ALEXANDRIA – Sexual Assault Center – 703.683.7273
FAIRFAX COUNTY – Domestic and Sexual Violence Services (DSVS) – 703.360.7273
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY – Sexual Assault Victims’ Advocacy Services (SAVAS) – 703.368.4141
LOUDOUN COUNTY – Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS) – 703.777.6652
In an emergency, call 911. Consider reporting any of these crimes to the police.
NOVA Police can be reached at 703.764.5000.
NOVA’s First Annual Take Back the Night is scheduled at the Loudoun Campus on Tuesday, April 22nd beginning at 6:30 PM.
The purpose of a Take Back The Night is to raise awareness about violence against women, specifically sexual assault and domestic violence. There will be speakers from within the College and from the wider community. Some students will speak out about their personal experiences. Resources will be available from many community agencies. The rally will be followed by a short candlelight march around LO (to invigorate the crowd and to add a special significance to the event. And finally, Sexual Assault Services will provide an open area for those in attendance to share their experiences in a Safe Room at LO.
This entire event has been organized and is sponsored by NOVA Sexual Assault Services. We welcome your attendance. Please pass along the information to anyone you think might be interested.