Two New Laws Regarding Gender Violence You Need To Know About

domestic-violence

Domestic Violence is a major issue all over the world. Gender violence is also something that we hear far too much about. In the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten. Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime.

Sexual assault and rape has been a hot topic in US legislation, specifically in the military and on college campuses. Citizens have been speaking loudly about the need for the government and authoritarian bodies to crack down and allow victims better security on the side of the law. If you want in in-depth look at the problems of gender-based violence in the military, check out the documentary ‘The Invisible War‘.

Let’s not forget in sports there is a never-ending stream of stories about violence, rape and misconduct from players. Many people are sick of seeing players basically get away with or go unpunished for violent crimes, simply because they are considered heroes for many fans of the gae. It is sickening that celebrity status trumps justice in some cases.

In light of such bad news we are bombarded with on a regular basis, we were happy to hear about two major laws that affect the issue of rape on college campuses, and domestic violence cases within the NFL.

On Thursday August 28, the California State Senate passed a bill, the first of its kind anywhere in the US, which clearly defines what sexual consent is, making perpetrators and the California court system unable to find loopholes and grey areas when a rape case arises.

While it was passed in the Senate, it still has to be signed into law by governor Jerry Brown which is the next step Californians are hoping will happen without question.

college-campuses

“If enacted, it would make colleges adopt a student conduct policy requiring ‘affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity,’ as a condition for state funding. The bill defines consent to sex as the presence of a ‘yes’ rather than the absence of a ‘no,’ a cultural shift that victim’s groups have long advocated. In practice, colleges would be required to use the bill’s definition when they teach students about sexual assault during orientations, and when investigating claims of sexual assault. It would apply any public or private colleges that receive state financial aid funding,” reports Time magazine.

“The more people talk about it, the more women feel empowered to speak up when they are in bad situations,” said Jerry Price, the Dean of Students at Chapman University, a private university in Orange, California.

The law is not infallible or exhaustive by any means, but it is a major step in the right direction, allowing issues of rape on college campuses to be brought to light in a way beyond just complaints from victims who have not seen justice.

After this law was announced, another huge announcement was made about the crackdown on violence, specifically, domestic violence. The institution this time? The NFL, and it happened in the same week.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodall wrote a letter to all NFL teams and personnel about a new domestic violence initiative which falls under the the personal conduct policy. It calls for a six-game suspension for a first offense and a lifetime ban from the league for a second offense. Sound extreme? So is domestic violence and it is about time this is being taken seriously by a major American Sporting association.

Thinking of sports stars as heroes who can do no wrong, and leagues and officials treating them as if they are above the law is the most awful display of so-called “progressive” humanity, yet Roger Goodall has created this new policy to send a clear message to teams and players that this is now changing.

You can read the full letter he sent by clicking here, but basically he explains that he met with experts to come up with the disciplinary action, and admits that they have failed the public at times.

NFL-commissioner-roger-goodall

“These steps are based on a clear, simple principle: domestic violence and sexual assault are wrong. They are illegal. They have no place in the NFL and are unacceptable in any way, under any circumstances. That has been and remains our policy,” he writes.

“Our own response to domestic violence or sexual assault incidents by NFL personnel will include new elements of evaluation, treatment and family support, as well as enhanced discipline. Effective immediately, violations of the Personal Conduct Policy regarding assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault that involve physical force will be subject to a suspension without pay of six games for a first offense, with consideration given to mitigating factors, as well as a longer suspension when circumstances warrant. Among the circumstances that would merit a more severe penalty would be a prior incident before joining the NFL, or violence involving a weapon, choking, repeated striking, or when the act is committed against a pregnant woman or in the presence of a child. A second offense will result in banishment from the NFL; while an individual may petition for reinstatement after one year, there will be no presumption or assurance that the petition will be granted. These disciplinary standards will apply to all NFL personnel.”

The NFL will also require all personnel to attend enhanced education programs on domestic violence an sexual assault. While both of these laws are a step in the right direction and to some, may be a no-brainer, sadly there are still attitudes which aren’t necessarily on the same level.

We’re excited to be able to discuss laws like this which are now becoming a reality, and hope they will be the catalyst for influencing many other sectors to follow suit, implementing stricter laws and policies when it comes to gender violence. As for the military, laws are certainly changing, but it’s a problem when it takes a documentary like ‘The Invisible War’ for them to be changed and for issues like sexual assault and domestic violence to be taken seriously by people at the top of the food chain.

US Marine Brian Jones shares his views on the ‘Now This’ Youtube channel, on men in the military making rape jokes and why this culture needs to be reevaluated:

4 Comments

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