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September 12, 2014 : OUL Women’s Studies Lecturer Hopes NFL Domestic Violence Scandal Creates Awareness
- Cheri Russo
Communications and Marketing Manager


Lancaster – An Ohio University Lancaster | Pickerington Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies lecturer hopes the very public domestic violence scandal involving former Baltimore Ravens Football Player Ray Rice and the NFL will start a long-term national discussion on an issue that needs attention.
“When I talk about domestic violence in my gender classes, I only have to look in the newspaper for that week to find examples.  There may not be video evidence about a celebrity but it’s always there – in our own backyard locally and nationally,” said Dr. Pam Kaylor. “Domestic violence will never go away until we, as a culture, stand against it everywhere – not just in the NFL – but it’s a good place to start.”
Kaylor serves on the board of directors for a local domestic violence shelter, The Lighthouse.  She said many don’t realize how prevalent the issue is in Fairfield County and across the nation.
“This case reminds us of the nastiness of domestic violence – it is graphic and there for the world to see,” said Kaylor. “I think the Rice case has helped to create some awareness but I also have heard some very troubling responses that show we have a long way to go in creating awareness.  This particular situation will eventually fade but there will be others to take its place.”
The NFL is under fire for how it handled Rice’s punishment after Rice attacked his now-wife in a casino elevator last February.  Initially, the league suspended Rice for two games but this week officials suspended Rice indefinitely from the league after a videotape, which showed Rice punching his wife and knocking her unconscious, was made public. The league also has two other domestic violence cases pending at the moment. San Francisco 49er Ray McDonald was arrested for felony domestic violence on his pregnant fiancée, and Carolina Panther Greg Hardy was convicted this summer of assaulting his girlfriend.
“I think the NFL has a long, quiet history when it comes to handling domestic violence crimes – not being very serious about it in terms of penalties, working to get charges reduced, and trying to keep them out of the media,” said Kaylor. “The only difference in this case is that it has been a very public display.”
The Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies courses at OUL examine gender and sexuality and their intersection with race, ethnicity, nationality, class, disability, and other elements of diversity. The WGSS curriculum introduces students to a wide range of theoretical and practical perspectives on the influence and meaning of gender in the human experience across time and cultures. The program promotes interdisciplinary teaching and research about gender and sexuality across myriad social and cultural contexts; it builds ties among scholars, providing a locus of feminist and queer scholarship and activism on campus, in the community, and beyond.