27 May 2015

Expert Advice is Essential When Developing a Response to Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

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By Rita Smith

Two recent news reports highlight the importance of seeking expert assistance when dealing with domestic violence and sexual assault issues. First, during the NBA playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers produced a short fan video clip intended to promote and encourage team spirit and loyalty. Inexplicably, the video included an act of domestic violence, resulting in an immediate, appropriate and inevitable social media backlash. The second notable incident occurred when the judge in the Ray Rice domestic violence case recently dismissed the charges, due to Rice’s completion of court-ordered counseling which was a required component of his assault plea deal. Apparently, a significant segment of the public felt that the case dismissal illustrated the NJ criminal justice system’s failure to prosecute Rice and to hold him accountable for his poor judgment. Thus, an immediate social media backlash also resulted from the news of Rice’s dropped charges.

In the instances described above –the NBA team’s poorly executed fan video in Cleveland and the criminal justice system in NJ — both could have benefited from the advice of an expert in domestic violence who would have easily anticipated the public backlash from these actions. It is this author’s opinion that better outcomes could have been achieved by both entities. In the Cavs case, the team could have increased fan support and excitement for the upcoming playoff series games in the, without insulting its female fans and victims of relationship violence. For the NJ court system, holding a high profile abuser publicly and seriously accountable for the use of violence against his fiancé could have had the double benefit of making it less likely the violent act will be repeated as well as holding Rice’s punishment up as a warning to other would be abusers.

Whether it is in the professional arena, college level or the American justice system, we should all be looking for effective ways to reduce dating and domestic violence. Domestic violence and sexual assault are complex issues, and require experienced responses. At Precise Advisory Group (PAG), we have the expertise and have developed strategies, tools and resources to assist the world of sports in addressing the challenges the issues of relationship conflict and poorly managed household power dynamics pose to the image of sport, its participants and sports brands. The cost of domestic violence is enormous, preventing players from taking the field of play, creating negative brand image and criticism, and leaving chronic long term impacts of trauma on the victims, perpetrators, their respective families and bystanders.

At PAG we are able to assist you in developing an effective response to these issues that will help us all reach the goals of offender accountability, victim support and reducing recidivism. For more information, please contact us.

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