A lot of focus has been given to domestic violence in the last several weeks because of the National Football League (NFL) indefinitely suspending Ray Rice after a video of him assaulting his wife surfaced. Now several other members have also been suspended for domestic violence and child abuse. It is way past time that these issues are brought out in the open and addressed.
It is disappointing that this wasn’t given the seriousness that it deserves until the video surfaced. It is important to remember that most victims of domestic violence do not have pictures, witnesses, or other legal proof. We have to listen and believe.
Violence against women is not an NFL issue and of course the majority of players are not violent towards their wives, girlfriends, or children. Violence against women spans worldwide. As a country, we have to look at domestic violence as a national problem – affecting women and families of all races, cultures, and income levels.
It is time that men step up and become a part of the solution. We need to move to prevent abuse by changing attitudes, changing values, and changing principles that promote a culture that tolerates domestic violence. Support for this is needed not just from the NFL, but from men in the business sector, education, government at all levels, families and individuals. It needs to begin right here in rural Nebraska.
The movement to end violence against women was championed and led by women but it is time for men, ALL men, to be a part of the solution. We need more real men to stand up and lead on the field, in the locker room, in your business, in your school, and throughout your communities as champions in the movement to end all forms of violence, especially violence against women and children.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and this is a great time to make a commitment to support this issue and your local domestic violence and sexual assault services program, Bright Horizons.

Ryan Parks
Bright Horizons Board President

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