I #SeeDV as Something We Can All Work to End: Troy Vincent

I #SeeDV as Something We Can All Work to End: Troy Vincent

Troy Vincent with Hotline CEO Katie Ray-Jones and Hotline advocates
Troy Vincent with Hotline CEO Katie Ray-Jones and Hotline advocates

My recent visit to the National Domestic Violence Hotline reinforced that ending domestic violence should be a personal priority for everyone. The stories of real people in painful real-life situations further underscore the dire need to plead the cause of victims, empower them and provide them with lifesaving tools, safety planning and most importantly, hope. We need advocates who connect with victims and help them take action, find safety and live without abuse.

Family members, faith leaders, educators and advocates, corporations and government–we all have a role to play and a responsibility to speak boldly to end domestic violence.

Domestic violence was a way of life in my home. As boys, my brother and I watched helplessly and in pain as our mother struggled to find her voice, seek help and have the courage to say “no more.” As a result, the fear, the powerlessness and all the complexities that accompany that kind of violence are as real for me today as when I was a child. They are always with me.

As a husband, father, mentor and friend, my lifelong conviction is to set an example and help others never experience this horror. There are many teachable moments with my children where we talk openly about the impact of domestic violence. My wife and I look for opportunities to challenge our children, stressing that there is never an excuse for violence and teaching them to find their voice on this issue.

As a former athlete, I have chosen to share my story and taken every opportunity to bring attention to this important issue and help drive change — in the locker room and the community.

As an executive, I continue to advocate for programs and resources to care for victims, educate players, and support family members around the issue of domestic violence. The NFL’s mandatory domestic violence and sexual assault education assists players and staff in building healthy relationships. It teaches us to identify off-field challenges that might lead to abuse and gives us skills to help prevent and end domestic violence and sexual assault.

The NFL Life Line provides current and former players, family members and team and league staff with a secure, confidential and independent resource for any personal or emotional crisis.

Our Player Engagement programs and NFL Legends Community are building a national network of former players trained to support players and their families, during their playing experience and after they transition away from the game.

Our Personal Conduct Policy — developed with more than 100 domestic violence and sexual assault experts, advocates and survivors, law enforcement officials, academic experts, business leaders, current and former players and the players’ union — establishes clear standards that apply to all NFL personnel.

We must talk openly about domestic violence and teach our children how to build healthy relationships. We must raise awareness and remove the shame and stigma that prevent victims from seeking help. We must support organizations like the National Domestic Violence Hotline that help make sure everyone who needs assistance can get it.

There is still much more work to be done. My faith has helped me end the cycle of domestic violence in my family, and it’s what sustains my work to end domestic violence. We must make our voices heard and turn our words into actions.

Troy Vincent Sr. played in the National Football League for fifteen years for the Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, and Washington Redskins. From 2004-2008, he served as president of the NFL Players’ Association. He is currently the NFL executive vice president of Football Operations.

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  1. I need to leave my abusive marriage but I don’t know how. He pays all of the bills and I’m currently living in public housing, please help ,somebody

    1. Hi Esperanca,

      It sounds like you are experiencing a crisis situation at the moment, so I am so glad that you were brave enough to reach out for help.

      Leaving can be one of THE most difficult aspects of an abusive relationship, so it is completely understandable that you are feeling anxiety and fear toward the situation. When you are in that crisis state, it can be hard to think of any options outside of just keeping yourself safe. That is why it is so important to be able to build a safety plan around leaving, which can be one of the most dangerous times for a survivor/victim of abuse. When an abusive partner is losing that control over you, they might try to escalate their abusive behaviors even more.

      This is definitely not something you have to go through alone. Our advocates would definitely love to help you through more options and building a safety plan that might better help you find your path to safety. We are available by phone 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 or by chat https://www.thehotline.org/help/path-to-safety/ from 7AM-2AM CT. Please feel free to call us if you would like to speak more about this situation, or find local DV resources in your area.

      Stay safe,
      Advocate KB

  2. I’m sorry but I have been our of my domestic violence marriage for two years now, and I can honestly say that our laws just suck. Bc we get the divorces and the pfas for what just to see the. In court 2 years later bc all of a sudden they want visit with the kids. We finally were getting our lives on track and bam guess what he can just pop into our lives whenever and make everything go haywire. He has only paid forty each month for the last 4 months when it suppose to be 469 a month. He was on meth and is now doing drug gout and the judge gave him supervised visits right now. Smh. I deal with high anxiety bc of this man and Pradesh from being raped by him, the him changing me and one of my son’s in our car while he had a loaded shot gun. Being chocked to where I was throwing up and my kids seeing this. And much more but guess what since we have kids with these men we will have to face them for the rest of our lives.I wish he would stay away from us it has an effect on my kids nightmares and behavioural. Then guess what bc most of us feel like when have no other choice except to get fixed so we don’t bring more children into that situation they get to run it I. Our faces when the start to have kids with other people and my husband and I can’t. I can’t afford a 7000 tubal reversal. I. Sorry I just think all of our laws a pathetic whe. It comes to this. PFA’s are pretty much paper weights that the abuser can get around. Smh this system. Really needs to be looked out

    1. Hi Charity,

      Thank you for sharing your story with our community. It is incredibly frustrating that you have faced so much abuse and not found the support you need in the legal system. All too often navigating the legal system can be very confusing and it can be hard to find resources. It may help to reach out to local legal advocacy organizations that are trained in domestic violence issues. If you would like to reach out to an advocate, we can connect you to local and national resources that may offer you support. You can reach an advocate 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 or by chatting us from 7am to 2am CST daily.

      Take care,

      Hotline Advocate LC

  3. I was in a abusive marriage for 13 years but got out with my son in 2010, have sole legal custody and no visitation rights for him thank god. but I have been trying to rebuild since with my credit, finances and my health. it was going good for a while but this year I am having a hard tme my son is 15 with autism and aspbergers and I have lung issues but have to work and at min wage I make to much!! for disability but I cant cut down then how will my bills get paid. my ex dont pay childsupport every time I tried to go for it he moves or leaves another job and he alwasys threatened to kill me before he would ever pay me and I believe him he tried before while we where married. what can I do?? i meet someone a while ago but I get scared to fall for the same things and I am more relxed alone but miss having someone in my corner with love and laughter? some days I feel like it wont ever be my time? I did counseling the first year after we left and my flash backs got better but I am having more now and dont know what to do?

    1. Hi Petra,

      We are so glad that you’re part of our online community and that you know we’re here for you. It sounds like you’ve been through a very stressful and scary relationship and are working on figuring out what your healing looks like. I know it can be frustrating to feel that you’re still dealing with effects of a traumatic experience long after it ends. It sounds like you’re dealing with so much emotionally, physically, and financially, and it’s understandable that you feel so overwhelmed. I think anyone in your situation would.

      It takes a lot of courage to reach out for help and to talk about what you’ve been through. It sounds like counseling was a helpful resource for you in the past. It may be helpful to consider finding a counselor now that you can build a trusting relationship with. Many domestic violence programs offer free or sliding scale payment options so no one has to go without the help and support they need. Some offer other services like children’s counseling that may be helpful for your son, as well as being able to help you connect with other local programs that you may qualify for.

      If you’d like to find a program near you, please give us a call at 1-800-799-7233 any time 24/7 or chat us online from 7am-2am CST every day. Our advocates are here to support you and connect you to local resources, as well as discuss your safety and self-care strategies.

      We’re here when you need us!

      Hotline Advocate AS

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