Seeing the outcome of the Ray Rice/NFL investigation, I was impressed, finally, that somebody stood up and said, hey, we need better training for NFL investigators in domestic violence and the league actually needs to develop a special unit to handle domestic violence cases instead of this “wait and see” approach that is obviously not working.
What would a special domestic violence unit or “SDVU” look like? It should be comprised of the following:
- an arbiter with training in domestic violence appointed by the NFL;
- an arbiter with training in domestic violence appointed by the players’ union;
- an arbiter with training in domestic violence agreed upon by 1) and 2) above;
- a private investigator;
- a domestic violence attorney advocate assigned to the player (if requested);
- a domestic violence attorney advocate assigned to the victim (if requested);
- a domestic violence attorney advocate assigned to any minor child(ren) involved; and
- a domestic violence attorney for the NFL to call (similar to a Hotline) when a situation arises to seek advise and/or counsel which would be protected by attorney/client privilege.
All of the above persons would work in concert to have the matter heard within two weeks to determine if there is the NFL version of probable cause to take immediate action (or not) against the player; and if so, what that action would be while the pendency of any legal proceedings outside the NFL play out.
This process would show the fans, nearly 50% of which are female, that domestic violence will not be tolerated and protect the players from false reports.