It may seem like ancient history now, but it was only July when Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, decided to suspend Ray Rice from two games for knocking his wife unconscious in an Atlantic City casino elevator. Then, after seeing the actual security footage released by TMZ, Goodell suspended the Baltimore Raven from the league indefinitely (though Rice won his appeal and now eligible to sign). And, following much criticism for his history of leniency on players arrested for domestic violence, Goodell pledged to create meaningful change.
The NFL still has a long way to go. So far, they've really only thrown money at the issue instead of directly helping victims of domestic abuse. But they have made progress. The league partnered with NO MORE, an anti-domestic-violence coalition, to air PSAs throughout the season. The campaign culminated during the Super Bowl yesterday with a commercial that still has everyone talking today.
The 60-second PSA featured chilling images inside of a wrecked home. Though the scenes lacked people, they seemed haunted by ghosts of domestic abuse. What made it even more gripping, though, was that the audio was pulled from a real 911 call posted on Reddit by a dispatcher eight months ago.
When the dispatcher picks up, a woman begins "ordering pizza." After a few moments of confusion, the dispatcher finally realizes the woman is in need of help — only pretending to order because, with her attacker in the room, it's the only way she can call for help. The segment ends with the tagline "When it's hard to talk / it's up to us to listen."
You can watch the rather unsetting (and therefore necessary) ad below:
While the rate of domestic-violence incidents in the U.S. has dropped significantly in the past two decades, the problem is still widespread: one in four women, and one in seven men, have experienced intimate physical violence in their lifetimes. We clearly need to keep talking about it.
Do you think the PSA is effective?
Screengrab via NO MORE / YouTube