Ignoring Domestic Violence in the Sports World
Domestic violence is generally defined as violent acts or threats between two people who have an intimate relationship. It encompasses other crimes, including assault and battery, stalking, rape, and murder. Therefore, it may be legally charged as such, in lieu of or in addition to, the crime of domestic violence that exists in many states – including New Jersey.
The New Jersey Domestic Violence Act protects anyone who is at least 18 years old and was subjected to domestic violence by a spouse, a former spouse, or a present or former household member. It also protects anyone, regardless of age, who was abused by someone with whom they have a child, with whom is carrying their child, or whom they have had a dating relationship.
There are 14 criminal offenses that fall under the Act:
- Terrorist threats
- Criminal restraint
- False imprisonment
- Sexual assault
- Criminal sexual contact
- Criminal mischief
- Criminal trespass
Holding Abusers Accountable
Domestic violence can be difficult to prosecute, because victims are reluctant to both report the abuse and to testify against their abusers, often out of fear that they will retaliate.
However, even when domestic violence victims do come forward, they do not always get justice; sometimes, their claims are outright ignored. This is especially true in the sports world, where star athletes are protected at all costs, and allegations of abuse are habitually swept under the rug.
Domestic Violence Victims of Male Athletes Continue to Be Ignored
Although men are also abused, domestic violence against women is more common. The National Coalition on Domestic Violence reports that one in four women and one in five men experience physical, sexual, or stalking forms of domestic violence.
Recently, there have been a growing number of domestic violence allegations against male professional athletes. One such allegation against a former player for the Kansas City Chiefs was ignored by the team when he denied involvement. The player was only released by the team after an investigation by the National Football League (NFL) uncovered video footage of him shoving and kicking a woman.
In a public statement, the Chiefs’ CEO said that the team is comprised of young men who may not always make the best decisions, and that the team is there to support them.
Sadly, this is a common narrative in the sports world; coaches and managers often place more importance on winning the game and protecting their star players than protecting women.
However, in the summer of 2018, Ohio State’s coach was put on administrative leave, pending an investigation into what he knew about an assistant coach’s history of domestic violence. This offers some hope that times may be changing.
Woodbridge Domestic Violence Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Help Victims Get the Justice They Deserve
If you are the victim of domestic violence, call a Woodbridge domestic violence lawyer at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Our experienced and compassionate lawyers can help ensure that your rights are protected and that those guilty of abuse are held accountable. From our office in Somerville, we represent clients throughout New Jersey, including those in Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, and Morris Plains. Contact us online or call us at 908-575-9777 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.