People look up to professional athletes. That is part of what makes hearing or reading about them facing domestic violence charges so scary. It is important for professional sports organizations to make it clear that these types of domestic actions aren’t acceptable at all. Texas readers who enjoy watching NFL games might be interested in learning about the harsher stance the NFL is taking against domestic violence.

The announcement comes after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted that he didn’t handle the Ray Rice situation in a proper manner when the pro football player was accused of domestic violence. Rice was suspended for two games. Now, the commissioner is instituting a six week ban for a first offense of a player being accused of domestic violence.

Goodell sent a letter out to all the team owners making the new policy clear. This news, which includes at least a year suspension for second accusations of domestic violence, is likely a shock to teams. It does, however, show that the NFL is serious about dealing with the horrible issue of domestic violence. The notice is to be posted in locker rooms and distributed to players. The NFL Players Association has acknowledged receipt of the memo.

Since the start of 2000, 85 domestic violence incidents involving 77 players have occurred. Six of those players were cut from the team, six more got one-game suspensions, and two players got two-game suspensions.

Hopefully, the harsher penalties will help these professional athletes to remember that negative actions have negative consequences. Ideally, these penalties will reduce the number of players who are the aggressors in domestic violence cases so that those who look up to them won’t think this type of behavior is acceptable.

For victims of domestic violence, seeking protection from their abusers is vital. This can be done through orders of protection that are issued by the courts. Understanding how to seek these orders can help to ensure you are on your way to living a safe life without having to fear for your life.

Source: KIII TV, “After Rice, NFL increases domestic violence bans” Howard Fendrich, Aug. 28, 2014