High profile NFL cases shine light on local domestic abuse

"We only think about it when there is a big news story but this happens 365 days a year."

Sheletta Brundidge
December 12, 2018 - 10:22 am

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In just one week, two NFL players have been involved in domestic violence situations against women.

Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt was fired from the team after TMZ released video of him kicking a woman earlier this year at a Cleveland hotel.

And in a separate incident, Washington Redskins player Reuben Foster was arrested for allegedly beating his ex-girlfriend Elissa Ennis.

Ennis appeared on Good Morning America telling her story of abuse, showing graphic photos of bruises to her collarbone and cheeks.

This was Foster’s second domestic violence arrest.

These stories put abuse against women in the national spotlight and begins a conversation of what services are out there to help these victims.

Jen Polzin is the CEO of Tubman in Minneapolis, an organization that helps women who have experienced relationship violence. They offer shelter, legal services and counseling.

Polzin was a guest on the Two Haute Mamas Podcast with Sheletta Brundidge and Lindy Vincent to raise awareness about domestic abuse.

She says the first step is to provide comfort for the victim. “I would want them to know that they are not alone and this isn’t their fault.  No one deserves to be physically assaulted or emotionally abused."

Polzin says that initial phone call might be hard for victims, but it’s worth it. “The first place to start is calling an organization like Tubman and talk to someone about a safety plan that can be tailored to your situation and talk through what some options are.”

She adds there is no one-size-fits-all recipe to help women who find themselves in abusive relationships. “Some people need to go to a shelter. Others need to get an order of protection to be able to stay in their home.  There isn’t one answer that is right for everyone.”

Tubman has domestic violence curriculum in 40 schools across the Twin Cities and works with thousands of students every year. Conversations about preventing abuse starts earlier than most people think.

Polzin recommends talking with children at an early age about what healthy relationships look like, “Remind kids in an age appropriate way that they have control over their bodies and behavior and actions and they get to set boundaries and say no.”

To hear the entire conversation and get a list of ways you can help Tubman spread their message, log on to the Two Haute Mamas Podcast page or click on the link below:

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