Iowa domestic violence agencies encouraged by NFL promises - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa domestic violence agencies encouraged by NFL promises

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell outlined a revamped personal conduct policy for the league Friday as well as addressed questions related to domestic violence issues in professional football.

Included in that plan was what Goodell called a long-term partnership with national domestic violence and sexual violence organizations.

Agencies in Iowa that help victims say it's a good step after what they say has been a poor initial response.

They hope that the League's influence and wealth can help them help women and men who are being abused.

Goodell held a news conference to explain his response to the video of Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancee.

"I got it wrong in the handling of the Ray Rice matter," said Goodell. "And I'm sorry for that. I got it wrong on a number of levels from the process that led to the decision that I reached."

He also addressed a new personal conduct policy for everyone in the NFL.

"Domestic violence, including child abuse, sexual assault, irresponsible ownership or handling of firearms, the illegal use of alcohol or drugs -- these activities must be condemned and stopped through education and discipline," said Goodell.

That includes what Goodell says is a long-term partnership with the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

Last week, the hotline saw an 84 percent increase in calls, in which more than half went unanswered due to lack of staff.

Jaye Kennedy is CEO of Waypoint Services, which helps domestic violence victims in six eastern Iowa counties.

"If there's good coming out of this, it's raising awareness, helping victims to step forward and know it's OK to step forward and ask for help," said Kennedy.

Kennedy says the first step is the hardest.

"The first step to make that call is very frightening, but it's also empowering because you see there's a situation on your hands, there is a problem," said Kennedy.

Kennedy says the NFL's promise to help long-term is important -- because domestic violence has long-term effects.

"It's something you don't see on a videotape or have it happen to you and then a week later you're fine," said Kennedy. "You're not fine. There can be a lot of layers to domestic violence and the healing process."

Kennedy says one in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic violence in their lives.

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