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On Violence Against Women

You have probably heard the latest on the major networks regarding domestic violence by several NFL players. CNN, CBS, CSPAN and others are dedicating hours of their programming to discuss the latest video taken of a football player punching his fiancé in the face in an elevator, and then dragging her unconscious body into the hall. By the way, they are now married.

All of a sudden, additional stories came to light of other players who do and have practiced other types of domestic violence. We are now hearing the apologies, the blaming of their own parents and a discussion about the need for therapy for many players who make their living from a violent profitable game, a known breeding ground for domestic abuse. I find it interesting that many football players are considered celebrities, heroes and role models for youth. It is also interesting to learn that only a few weeks later, these same players are allowed to come back to the sport and play where they will again be admired and cheered by the stadium fans.

Sorry, I digress from my point which is that I am very disappointed that women’s rights advocates are somewhat silent in the media and this gives the impression that women are remaining quiet and allowing men to deal with this issue at hand as they see fit; the issue of violence against women. Some suggest that it is time that men begin dealing with this issue, but I challenge that notion.  I believe that the men in these cases who have spoken out against this player behavior have only done so because the players got caught and not because they intend to stop the violence.

It is clear that the league team owners are not concerned about women’s rights; if so they would have taken prudent steps long ago. The history of violence against women by professional league players is very long and the leagues have done little to address this problem effectively. The recent press statements made by league management are clearly driven by protecting their million dollar salaries. Violence against women is prevalent in many professional league sports including football, basketball and soccer to name a few. It stretches the boundaries across all professions and walks of life; Plumbers, engineers, contractors, soldiers, students, the rich and the poor. Violence against women has no boundaries.

I believe that now is the opportune time for women’s rights organizations to speak out against this explosion of media interest in a few high profile players. Where are the statistics on domestic violence? Where are the accountabilities being enforced and how? Where is the network coverage of the work done by CEDAW? I urge these organizations to act now by launching peaceful demonstrations and campaigns to generate greater awareness and advocacy initiatives on this issue. It is prudent to express outrage against the media sensationalism of high profile scandals that target improved ratings rather than education on this important issue.

Pablo Castro

Pablo Castro, President UNA-SF

I call on all women to write to our senators who have failed to ratify CEDAW and explain how they feel about a professional league football player punching a woman’s face in an elevator…in the United States…in 2014.

Pablo Castro