NTF calls for hearings/Hill action re: NFL and Survivor's Needs

December 1, 2014


Dear Senator:

We write as members of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence -- domestic and sexual violence advocates, faith-based and law enforcement groups, civil, human, and women's rights organizations who represent millions of survivors of sexual and domestic violence and stalking, and their advocates – with both requests and reflections following two solid months of media coverage of a number of high profile domestic and sexual violence incidents.

Twenty years of work to implement and improve the Violence Against Women Act has left us well positioned to share the successes and challenges that emerged as we responded to the unprecedented surge in demand for services that followed the revelation of the second NFL tape involving Ray Rice and then fiancée, Janay Palmer. Thus, we write to request that the Congress hold hearings in furtherance of the national discussion that has begun around the issues of sexual and domestic violence, their impact on the economy, the economic lives of survivors, and the necessity for workplace and other policies that address the needs of battered and abused people and their families. Additionally, we want to express our appreciation to the many members of Congress who have called for the NFL to be held accountable, and we look forward to continuing the dialogue on this issue.

An immediate consequence of the intense national focus on the NFL is increased awareness in American society at large of the profound impact of domestic and sexual violence in our lives in general and more specifically, in the workplace. As the NFL continues to institute reforms, we wish to point out that the NFL is but one employer. Its workforce – at the player level – is disproportionately male. Domestic and sexual violence as they manifest inside and outside the workplace, however, are still experiences that are overwhelming borne by women (85% of survivors are women). Holding timely hearings would allow a review of NFL’s experience to gain insight into how employers who are not adequately prepared can founder in responding to the workplace impact of sexual and domestic violence.

We also call upon Congress to begin work on a federal response to the unacceptably high level of survivor job loss – as high as 50% among survivors of sexual or domestic violence -- that occurs when ill prepared employers are reactive rather than proactive. Before one more survivor is asked why they stayed, Congress must make it possible for them to decide whether they wish to.

In the near term, we request two things:

  1. The holding of hearings as soon as is practicable to determine:
    • The status/progress of the NFL matter;
    • How to strengthen the economy and encourage employers to be more proactive regarding domestic and sexual violence and workplace while simultaneously increasing productivity and safety in workplace; and
    • Best practices from employers and advocates, alike with respect to improving economic security for survivors, and accountability for perpetrators
  2. The swiftest possible introduction, mark-up and passage of legislation designed to ensure that survivors have access to the same baseline of workplace, and broader economic protections regardless of where they live.

As it stands, some survivors have access to paid leave if they need time off because they need to attend court, see a counselor, or attend to injuries. Others have access to unemployment insurance if they need to leave their jobs because of the violence. Still others have job security afforded by laws that ban the firing of survivors because they are survivors. Though all of these measures are needed to ensure that survivors have the strongest set of options for moving forward, access to these proven remedies varies drastically according to where survivors live. It’s time to afford all survivors the protections they need regardless of zip code.

We look forward to working with our public officials and private employers in the effort to enact policies, enforce the laws and ensure safety and economic stability for all survivors.


Legal Momentum
Chair, Subcommittee on Economic Issues
Nati’l Task Force to End Sexual & Domestic Viol. Contact: Lisalyn R. Jacobs 202.486.5280 ljacobs@legalmomentum.org



National Organizations 


A Window Between Worlds
Alliance for a Just Society
American Association of University Women
American Federation of Government Employees: District 11 (OR. ID. WA. CO, AK, MT, UT, WY

Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center
Boat People SOS
Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities

Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
Communication Workers of America
Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project
Exodus, Inc.
General Federation of Women’s Clubs 

Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc. 
Institute for Family Violence Studies
Institute for Science and Human Value
Legal Momentum
Mothers of Lost Children
National Alliance to End Sexual Violence

National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
National Conference of Puerto Rican Women
National Council of Jewish Women
National Crittenton Foundation
National Organization of Women
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

National Women’s Political Caucus
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
University of Miami Human Rights Clinic
Women of Color Network

Wider Opportunities for Women
Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance


State & Local Organizations 


NOW: Alaska 

Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
Time Out Inc.

Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Delta Crisis Center
Serenity Inc.

Asian Pacific Women’s Center
Doves of Big Bear Valley
House of Ruth Inc.
Humboldt County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council

NOW: Contra Costa
NOW: Pacific Shore
One SAFE Place
Option House
Shelter from the Storm

Unfolding Flowers 

A Zen Life
Alternatives to Violence, Inc.
Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program

Help for Abused Partners
SafeHouse Denver
Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence 

BH Care, Inc.
KK Community Rebuilding 
Meriden-Wallingford Chrysalis 

District of Columbia 
D.C. Rape Crisis Center 

Christians Against Domestic Violence
Healing Grace
NOW: Brevard Chapter
NOW: Jacksonville 

NOW: Florida
Women’s Production Network

The Blood Healing Services 
Circle of Hope
Columbus Alliance for Battered Women, Inc. d/b/a Hope Harbour 
Forsyth County Family Haven
Hospitality House, Inc. 
North Georgia Counseling Education Center 
Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center 
Polk County Women's Shelter 
Women Watch Afrika, Inc.

Women Helping Women 

The Advocates
Idaho Coalition Against Domestic Violence 

A Safe Place
Crisis Center for South Suburbia
Christian Community Health Center
Family Resources
Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Mutual Ground, Inc.
NOW: Illinois
NOW: Quad Cities (also listed under IA)

Rape Victim Advocates 

Crisis Connection, Inc. 
Indy Feminists
Latino Coalition Against Domestic & Social Violence

Noble House Ministries Inc. 

Center for Creative Justice
Crisis Intervention Services
Domestic Violence Intervention Program

Family Resources
Franciscan Peace Center
NOW: Quad Cities (also listed under IL) 

Domestic Violence Association of Central Kansas 

Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence 
Spring Haven Domestic Violence Program 

Family Crisis Services 

NOW: Maryland
SMR Counseling Services 

Casa Myrna Vasquez
Jane Doe Inc.
Lesley University Women’s Center
Pathways for Change, Inc. 

EGV Teams Counseling
NOW: Wayne County

Shelter Inc.
The Venus Foundation 

Bluff Country Family Resources
CADA of Waseca/Le Sueur County
NOW: Minnesota
Someplace Safe

MS Coalition Against Sexual Assault  

A Safe Place
Audrain County Crisis Intervention Services
Agape House Inc. of Mountain View
Christos House Inc.
NOW: Columbia
Safe Connections

The Victim Center 

Center for Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Survivors 

New Hampshire 
New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence 

New Jersey 
My Sisters Lighthouse
New Jersey Assoc. on Correction
New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women

NOW: Middlesex County
NOW: Morris County
NOW: New Jersey
NOW: Northern New Jersey
NOW: South Jersey 

New Mexico 
Alternatives to Violence
Family Crisis Center
Grammy’s House
New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence

New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs
NOW: Albuquerque
NOW: New Mexico
NOW: Santa Fe
Rape Crisis Center of Central New Mexico S.A.F.E. House

New York 
Advocacy Center
Hope’s Door
The Fortune Society
NOW: East End
New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation
The Safe Center LI, Inc.
Women and Work
VCS Inc.
Violence Intervention Program 

North Carolina 
Be Healthy Ministries
Durham Crisis Response Center
Family Services Inc.
Family Services of Davidson County, Inc. 

Guilford County Family Justice Center 
Mending Hearts
NOW: Fayetteville
NC Coalition Against Sexual Assault
REACH of Cherokee County, Inc.
Sarah’s Refuge Inc.
The Sparrow’s House of Yadkin 

ACTION OHIO Coalition For Battered Women
Alternatives to Violence Center
Cleveland Rape Crisis Center
Community Services of Stark Co.
Ohio Guidestone/Harbor House
Haven of Hope
Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence
Project Women
Rape Crisis Domestic Violence Safe Haven
SAAFE Center
Southern Ohio Sexual assault Treatment Center
Tri-County Help Center, Inc. (Belmont/Harrison/Monroe Counties)
Turning Point 

Safenet Services Domestic Violence Shelter
United Nations Association of Oklahoma City 

Bradley Angle
Community Works
Project DOVE
Tillamook County Women's Resource Center

Women’s Safety & Resource Center 

Alle-Kiski Area HOPE Center, Inc.

NOW: First Pittsburgh 
NOW: Ni-ta-nee
PathWays PA
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
Roses Ministry
Survivors, Inc. 

Women's Center of Montgomery County 
Women’s Law Project 
Women’s Resource Center 

South Dakota 
South Dakota Coalition Ending Domestic and Sexual Violence 

22.5 Degrees
CEASE Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Inc.

Austin/Travis County Family Violence Task Force
Crisis Center of the Plains
Daya Inc. 
Domestic Violence Protection, Inc.
Humboldt County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council

NOW:  South Central Region
No More
Women’s Center of Brazoria County

Rhode Island 
NOW: Rhode Island 

Project Against Violent Encounters
Safeline Inc.
Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence 

Beth El House
Charlottesville/Blue Ridge AAF
NOW: Charlottesville
NOW: Northern Virginia
York-Poquoson Victim-Witness Assistance Program 

Christian Coalition for Safe Families
King County Re-entry Program 
McCready Remodeling
Pierce County Commission Against Domestic Violence
Truth Speaks
Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs 
Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence 
Women of Vision 

West Virginia 
Tug Valley Recovery Shelter
West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence
West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services 


Community Referral Agency (Polk, Barron Burnett Counties) Forge Inc.

University of Wisconsin, Madison: Women’s Resource Center

Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault 

SAFE Project 

Trial Coalitions/Programs  
Seven Dancers Coalition 
Tohono O'odham Nation Domestic Violence Program