All Articles Tagged "domestic violence"

NFL Introduces More Strict Conduct Policy

December 17th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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The National Football League has instituted a new, more strict conduct policy after months of scrutiny and backlash over the handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case and other issues within the NFL ranks.

Among the new policies, as outlined by The Chicago Tribune:

-“The appointment by the commissioner of a league office executive with a criminal justice background to issue initial discipline.” This is a new position, with the appointee determining punishment for violations.

-“[A]  new league conduct committee comprised of representatives of NFL ownership that will review the policy at least annually and recommend appropriate changes with advice from outside experts.”

– “A baseline suspension of six games without pay for violations involving assault, battery, domestic violence, dating violence, child abuse, other forms of family violence, or sexual assault, with consideration given to possible mitigating or aggravating circumstances.”

There’s also an emphasis on education and services for survivors.

Commissioner Roger Goodell, making the announcement last week, said that he’s consulted with a number of outside organizations to come up with the policies. Among them was the Black Women’s Roundtable, who we spoke to about their recommendations last month. We were in touch with some specific questions about whether some of their recommendations were taken or how they felt about the policy and only got this statement in return from Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the organization: “The Black Women’s Roundtable is reviewing the NFL’s new personal conduct policy. We plan to provide feedback as the NFL works to implement its new policies.”

More definitively, The Huffington Post called the policy merely a start.

The NFL’s updated conduct policy is by no means a cure-all. But it is a step in the right direction. It clearly articulates consequences. It shows support for and provides resources to survivors. It tells the fan base that domestic violence and sexual assault are not ok under any circumstances–in the NFL or frankly in society at-large.

Any thoughts on the policy?

Mel B’s Husband Denies Hitting Her After She Showed Up On “X Factor” With A Swollen Face And Bruises

December 16th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Mel B's Husband Denies Hitting Her

Source: WENN

Former Spice Girl and current “X Factor” judge Melanie Brown (Mel B) and her husband Stephen Belafonte seem to be going through some things. When Mel B showed up the set of “X Factor” with scratches, bruises and a swollen face on Sunday, several fans assumed that her husband was the reason. And they took to Twitter to let him know they suspected him.

Yesterday morning, Stephen, 39, responded, vehemently denying the allegations.

Mel B's Husband Denies Hitting Her

Source: Twitter

 

But Mel B is remaining silent. When the Daily Mail contacted a rep for the former singer, that person declined to comment.

Mel B was absent from the judge’s table on Saturday’s “X Factor” after being admitted to the hospital on Thursday night. But when she returned on Sunday, fans noticed in addition to the swollen face and scratches, she wasn’t wearing her wedding ring. And that’s when folks on social media started questioning the state of her marriage.

On the show, Mel B, referencing her absence on Saturday said, “I really missed being here but thank to all the doctors and nurses who took care of me and got me here tonight.”

Apparently, on Thursday Mel was suffering from a suspected stomach ulcer. During the time she was in the hospital, Mel B’s estranged mother and sister Danielle didn’t know where she was. And on Sunday, before the show aired, her sister took to Twitter in a desperate plea to locate her.

Mel B's Husband Denies Hitting Her

Source: Twitter

Mel B's Husband Denies Hitting Her

Source: Twitter

Once Melanie was seen on “X Factor,” Danielle deleted the tweets.

This is not the first time she’s expressed discontent about her sister’s husband. In 2012, she said, “I would never tell her to leave him. She can be with whoever she wants to be with, even if we find him controlling and not a nice person.”

The two sisters fell out in 2008, when Mel and Stephen renewed their vows in Egypt, after a year of marriage. Apparently the family hasn’t spoken since that time because Mel’s mother and sister expressed concerns about her sister’s relationship with Stephen and whether or not he would be accepting of her daughter, Eddie Murphy’s child.

Mel B has admitted that their marriage, like everyone else’s, has had its ups and downs. When she appeared on the cover of Grazia magazine’s Christmas issue, she admitted being three hours late to the shoot because she’d had an argument with her husband.

The mag quotes her: “I walked in pissed off because I had a big row with my husband about stupid stuff. Sometimes he pisses me off like no other, but he gets me.”

A source from “X Factor” told the Daily Mail that Stephen didn’t visit her while she was in the hospital. That same person revealed that other members of the “X Factor” team don’t particularly care for him.

“None of that means that he has ever laid a finger on Mel, but he is not an easy person to be with, that is obvious to see. It was a physical and emotional collapse. There was an emotional element to it, Mel has been under a lot of stress. He didn’t come to the show on Sunday as far as I am aware. He wasn’t in her dressing room. I don’t believe he visited her in the hospital, either.”

Instead on Sunday, Belafonte was seen outside of the couple’s apartment overseeing the loading of suitcases into a minivan.

Melanie B’s aunt, Diane Cook told The Mirror, “I hope she gets away from him. We all believe Stephen has got her under his control. We are worried about Mel but there is nothing we can do.”  Her uncle seconded the notion, “He is not a very nice bloke.”

Melanie is on the outs with several of her family members over Stephen. And the feeling is mutual on his part. In fact, he’s called them “the cut off crew.” 

In 2007, shortly after Mel and Stephen tied the knot, information surfaced about his past. Stephen, a Hollywood-born producer, was charged with battery in America and was arrested for attacking his then girlfriend Nicole Contreras. He pleaded “no contest” to the battery charge. The judge said that was the same as pleading guilty and he was ordered to complete a Domestic Violence Batterers program.

A friend of Contreras said that she fears for Melanie “because a leopard does not change his spots. He seems utterly charming…but I’m afraid it won’t be long before his mask slips.”

You hate to accuse someone of something so heinous. But all of these signs are classic symptoms of an abusive relationship. Her family doesn’t like him. He’s alienated her from them. And the kicker, he has a documented past of domestic violence issues.

We don’t know what’s going on right now but we’re hoping Melanie B and her children can make it through to the other side of all this.

What do you make of this story?

2-Year-Old Dies After Being Brutally Beaten By Stepdad

December 9th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Family photo via NYDN

Family photo via NYDN

On Monday, at Grace Chapel Funeral Home in Brooklyn, NY, relatives said their goodbyes to 2-year-old Thaiya Princetta Spurill-Smith, the New York Daily News reports. The bright-eyed toddler nicknamed “Honey Bee” by those who knew her best, was declared brain dead two days after being savagely beaten by her stepfather, David Adams.

The fatal beating occurred on November 12 and was triggered by the girl’s crying, according to relatives. Adams later told investigators that he shook the toddler “causing (her) head to rotate forward and back rapidly several times.” Shortly after doing so, Adams says that he witnessed her body go limp.

The child, who had slipped into a coma, was taken to a nearby hospital and placed on life support. She was declared brain-dead two days later. Last month in court, Assistant District Attorney Frank DeGaetano charged Adams with two counts of assault, one count of reckless assault and endangering the welfare of a child between Oct. 10 and 20. Prosecutors would not speak publicly regarding the earlier assault charge.

Bizarrely, reports have alleged that the girl’s mother, Teoka Spurill, who is 7 months pregnant with Adams’ child, defended her daughter’s killer in court. The girl’s father, Terrell Smith, has been battling Spurill for custody of their daughter for years. He claims that he accused Adams of abuse long before charges had been filed.

“I kept showing them picture after picture of marks, of signs of abuse, but she got custody,” Smith said.

The child remained on life support until November 19 because her parents could not agree on whether or not her organs should be donated. A judge later ruled in favor of the child’s father, who did not wish to donate her organs.

Prosecutors say that Adams’ previous assault charges will be upgraded to murder after a medical examiner determines her official cause of death.

Ray Rice Explains Why He Didn’t Apologize To Janay In Their First Press Conference, And Shares What They’ll Do If He Doesn’t Play In The NFL Again

December 2nd, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Ray Rice publicly apologizes to his wife, Janay Palmer, for Valentine's Day assault.

Source: AP

We were able to finally hear Janay Rice’s thoughts on the night her husband, Ray Rice, knocked her out, and the aftermath of everything. But Ray has also had the chance to speak on his poor decisions on that night and afterwards, and in the interview with Matt Lauer for “Today,” he cleared the air about the couple’s first press conference in May, which didn’t go so well. If you’ll recall, Ray ended up apologizing to everyone but Janay, specifically showing remorse to the Baltimore Ravens, his sponsors and his fans (all the people who provided him with a paycheck).

“I want to first off apologize to [owner] Steve Bisciotti, [general manager and executive vice president] Ozzie Newsome and [head] coach [John] Harbaugh, and I also want to apologize to my fans, to the kids, to everyone who was affected by this situation that me and my wife were in.

I know many of my supporters, sponsors who have acted as so do not want to be in partnership with me – that’s my fault. That’s my fault. I take full responsibility for that. One thing that I do know is that I am working every day to be a better father, a better husband and just a better role model.”

As for Janay, she was apologetic for her part in the incident, trying to take on a lot of the heat he was getting:

“I do deeply regret the role that I played in the incident that night, but I can say that I am happy that we continue to work through it together, and we are continuing to strengthen our relationship and our marriage and do what we have to do for not only ourselves collectively, but individually, and working on being better parents for Rayven and continue to be good role models for the community like we were doing before this. I love Ray, and I know that he will continue to prove himself to not only you all, but [to] the community, and I know he will gain your respect back in due time. So thank you.”

Well, in his chat with Lauer, Ray explains why he didn’t apologize publicly to his wife during that conference. In short, he said the Ravens told him what to say before going in:

“The reason why that press conference was the way that it was, was because we were still under legal situations so there wasn’t much that could be said. But I’ll be honest. We were nervous. I was nervous. That was the first time we were available to speak. I made a horrendous mistake not apologizing to my wife. When we was going in, we were given what to speak about. It wasn’t truly coming from us if you can understand. But I made that clear the last time I was able to speak that my wife is an angel. She can do no wrong. I take full responsibility for my actions.”

Ray also shared his thoughts on Janay publicly taking blame for his attack on her, and her defense of him and his reputation on social media, which she has been widely criticized for:

“In hindsight she was doing it because she knows what I do for a living. She understood my job and my profession. I think it was her doing that to try to take light off of the situation and I appreciated it, but that’s not what the big deal is. The big deal is for me to always protect her. That’s why I take full responsibility. She can do no wrong. As a man you have to own it and I’m horribly sorry for everything I put my family through. I still gotta live every day, go take my daughter to school. She’s going to grow up, and the way the Internet works, she’s going to Google her father’s name, and the first thing that’s going to come up is–we know what’s going to come up. That’s the reality of it. That’s what I’m more worried about fixing. I want my wife, my daughter and my family, we all just want our lives back.”

When asked about how the family will move forward if Ray won’t be picked up by another NFL team, Janay said she would do what she has to, if necessary, to provide:

“I know he wants to play football, but regardless, he’ll always support me in anything I want to do. God forbid he doesn’t play football again, then I’ll step in and maybe I’ll be the provider [smiles].”

Check out this part of the couple’s conversation with Matt Lauer below and share your thoughts:

Back At It: Yung Berg And Masika Post Picture Of Themselves In Bed Together

December 1st, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Yung Berg And Masika Post Picture Of Themselves In Bed Together

Source: Instagram

The writing was certainly on the wall with Masika and Yung Berg. Immediately, after the details of Yung Berg’s assault against her leaked to the press, homegirl was conducting interviews, defending the former “Love and Hip Hop Hollywood” star. 

Though Masika told police officers, that Berg hit her, drug her by her hair and then pinned her to the wall before grabbing her throat, it wasn’t long before she changed her tune.

Later, in her first interview on the matter, Masika claimed that she was not attacked. She blamed Berg’s behavior on the alcohol and said she was primarily focused on Berg becoming a better person.

But Mona Scott Young and ‘nem weren’t hearing it or taking any of Yung Berg’s foolishness. And they fired him from the show.

But while VH1 has cut ties, Masika is still hanging on.

Yesterday, he posted a picture of the two of them in bed together and she commented underneath it, “Daddy <3″

Then she posted the same picture on her own Instagram page. And as you might assume, people are going all the way off in the comment section. And both Masika and Yung Berg deleted the duplicate image shortly afterward.

What do you think about these two? Are you surprised?

“I Can’t Say He’s Telling The Truth:” Janay Rice Says Roger Goodell Hasn’t Been Honest [Watch]

December 1st, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Today

Today

Last month, we told you that Janay Rice would be sitting down with Matt Lauer to discuss the violent incident that led to now husband, Ray Rice’s suspension from the NFL. It’s been nearly a year since the shocking altercation took place and the couple has since gotten married. Also, shortly after the interview was filmed, Ray was reinstated into the league following an arbitrary hearing where Judge Barbara S. Jones ruled that he had been completely honest regarding the incident with league reps during his June hearing, which led to an initial two-game suspension. This, of course, meant that turning around and suspending Ray indefinitely would be punishing him twice for the same offense, thus resulting in the second suspension being lifted. When asked during her chat with Today, for which she was joined by her parents, whether or not Ray had been “ambiguous” during his initial hearing, Janay had this to say:

“No. Not in any way. And, you know, I feel like if they wanted to know more details then they would have asked. But there were no further questions. It — it’s been consistent with everything that he’s been saying since February.”

This would of course mean that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was not being forthright when he alluded that Ray withheld information during his preliminary hearing. While she didn’t exactly call him a liar, she did say that Goodell wasn’t exactly truthful.

“I can’t say he’s telling the truth. You know? I know for a fact that he told — that Ray told the honest truth that he’s been telling from February. So —”

As for why the league handled things the way that they did, Janay agreed that they were simply trying to cover themselves.

“I think they did what they had to do for themselves.”

There was also some pretty interesting dialogue about the night of the assault and the aftermath.

MATT LAUER: We’ve only seen you months after the incident. And I can’t imagine that you were that calm when you started to realize exactly what happened in that elevator. Can you describe those emotions?

JANAY RICE: I was furious. We came home, and we didn’t talk the entire ride. Well, I didn’t speak to him the entire ride home. He tried to talk to me. I didn’t want to hear any of it. I just knew he hit me, and I was completely over it. I was done. … I just didn’t even want to entertain it — any explanation. Of course, in the back of my mind and in my heart I knew that our relationship wouldn’t be over because I know that this isn’t us, and it’s not him.

And also, her hopes for Ray returning to the field sometime in the near future.

MATT LAUER: What’s it going to take in your mind, Janay, for another team to take a chance on Ray Rice?

JANAY RICE: For them to look past this situation, which I know is going to be hard. But at the end of the day he’s a football player and that’s what they should be — really be focused on because he’s proven himself as a football player for seven years. There’s never been a question on what he can do on the field.

MATT LAUER: And you think an owner and fans of the team can get those images from that elevator tape out of their minds?

JANAY RICE: With time. We know it’s going to take some work. So I think once he, you know, shows them who he is and they reach out to people here and they find out the things that he’s done, then I think it’s definitely good — you know, it could help.

Watch a clip from her interview below. Thoughts?

Déjà Vu: Ex-NFL Player Fred Smoot Charged With Domestic Assault

November 26th, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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Source: AP

Source: AP

In what’s become an all too common occurrence, another pro football player has been charged with domestic assault. Ex-NFL defensive back Fred Smoot is currently facing charges of misdemeanor domestic assault after a woman called police alleging he grabbed her during a fight at an Ashburn, Virginia, home over the weekend.

Smoot, who played for the Minnesota Vikings for two seasons and seven seasons with the Washington Redskins until 2009, was arrested Sunday afternoon according to the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office and later released on a $2,500 bond. A court date has been set for Jan. 5, 2015 in Loudoun County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, according to CBS news, and until then Smoot must obey conditions established in an Emergency Protective Order and maintain good behavior until that date. Regardless of his behavior during that time, this accusation has likely already tarnished the 35 year old’s aspirations of launching a media career, with NBC sports noting the ex-pro baller who contributed to CSN Washington, WTTG-FOX 5, CBS Sports Network, and WJFK-FM has already been suspended indefinitely from the latter. WJFK-FM Program Director Chris Kinard told CBS, “Fred has been a contributor to the station and there are no plans for him to appear in the future.”

As for Smoot’s defense, his attorney Jon Huddleston issued a statement saying there’s no credence to the charges his client faces.

“We ask for patience in allowing the legal process to play itself out. These are the vindictive actions of a disgruntled ex-girlfriend which arose after Fred broke off their relationship more than a month ago. It is unfortunate that [the accuser] has elected to engage in a campaign to defame Fred and ruin him both personally and professionally. We are confident that Fred will be appropriately exonerated.”

Black Women’s Roundtable Offers Recommendations To NFL On Domestic Violence Issues

November 20th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Ray Rice publicly apologizes to his wife, Janay Palmer, for Valentine's Day assault.

Source: AP

Last Friday, representatives from the Black Women’s Roundtable met for a second time with Roger Goodell, commissioner of the National Football League, spending two hours discussing recommendations to both handle existing domestic violence issues and, hopefully, eradicate the problem entirely.

“The key that we honed in on was prevention and intervention strategies,” Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and the convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable.

Campell couldn’t discuss the details of the recommendations because she wanted to give the NFL a chance to consider the options and decide on next steps. However, among the suggestions were a number of organizations that are led by women of color that can serve as resources in cities across the country that have NFL teams, according to a press release about the meeting.

What Campbell did discuss was the need for diversity on the panel that is making decisions about how to proceed on this issue. A single women of color has been appointed to the panel the NFL created to address these issues, but, as Campbell says, “We feel they can do more. Hence the recommendations.”

To be sure, domestic violence is an issue that’s larger than the NFL.

“Cultural change needs to happen,” Campbell continued. “Domestic violence is a problem in this country. There’s an opportunity to hone in on that. To be able t work and engage with [the NFL] is the best we can do.” And, perhaps, the NFL can serve as a model for how the country can move forward.

In terms of diversity, the Black Women’s Roundtable sees its role as one of bringing cultural nuance to the table. One example Campbell used was where Black women turn for help. Traditionally, it’s not a hotline, but rather a church or family member. So any strategies moving forward should take that into account.

But whether the league ultimately does what needs to be done is up to them.

“The devil will be in the details when it comes to their policy changes,” Campbell told MN. “It’s up to us to make sure this isn’t lip service.”

There’s no deadline for feedback on the recommendations, but Campbell says communication continues.

“Surely this is something that won’t get fixed overnight. But it’s important to stick with it. We’re talking about people’s lives,” she said.

Watch Your Mouth! Tamar Threatens To Sue Sandra Rose After She Claims Vince Beats Her

November 17th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Tamar Threatens To Sue Sandra Rose After She Claims Vince Beats Her

Blogger Sandra Rose is known for starting mess with her unsubstantiated, salacious and speculative headlines. Y’all remember how she came for Faith Evans’ son, claiming that he was gay during his high school graduation. Basically, she takes pride in being messy.

Everyday she’s coming for someone else. And yesterday, in addition to saying no one cared about Solange’s wedding (laughable), Rose also claimed that Tamar’s husband, Vincent Herbert, beats her.

Here’s what she tweeted.

tamar threatens to sue sandra rose 1

Source: Instagram

Tamar doesn’t take lightly to much criticism; but she really wasn’t down for this sort, considering that she’s been pretty open about dealing with an abusive relationship in the past.

Here’s what she said in response.

Tamar Threatens To Sue Sandra Rose

Source: Instagram

Rose, being the troll that she is, was probably delighted to see that Tamar not only read something she wrote but  took the time to respond. Naturally, she wanted to keep the conversation going.

Tamar Threatens To Sue Sandra Rose

Source: Instagram

And Tamar responded again.

Tamar Threatens To Sue Sandra Rose

Source: Instagram

Rose continued to respond. But fortunately, sometime during the night Tamar realized that Sandra Rose is nothing but a troll and deleted the tweets she screen shotted from her Instagram page.

But we’re wondering whether or not she’ll actually go through with this lawsuit business. It might be an exercise in futility but it would certainly teach Sandra Rose a lesson.

What do you think, should Tamar sue her?

Will You Watch? Janay Rice Set To Speak With Matt Lauer About Elevator Incident And More

November 14th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Janay Rice Set To Speak With Matt Lauer

Source: Instagram

Matt Lauer has been playing coy for at least a week now. It was about a week ago that rumors started to swirl that he would be interviewing Janay Rice, Ray Rice’s wife or both she and her husband together.

Well, someone let the cat out of the bag.

Franchon Parlour, a company that specializes in preparing clients for photo shoots, recently posted images of a very made up Janay, cameras in a living room and an NBC News logo on Instagram, leading us to believe that Janay was the main interview subject. The images have since been deleted from the Instagram page but there were others that appeared on the company’s Facebook page. Without the logo, of course.

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id="fb-root">

I guess it’s really not that much of a secret anymore since Matt Lauer himself, confirmed to TMZ that the interview went off without a hitch.

The jury is still out on whether or not Lauer sat down with both Janay and Ray in their Maryland home but NBC sources told TMZ that Ray will make an appearance. Ray Rice’s people have not confirmed the news but TMZ was told that Ray was home when the interview took place…so all signs point to yes.

As you know the main reason for the sit down was so the couple could address the infamous surveillance footage which shows Ray Rice knocking Janay unconscious in an elevator back in February. And according to sources, Janay was very open about discussing the incident.

Other sources believe that Ray won’t be the only one making an appearance. Allegedly, Janay’s mother will be featured in the segment as well. It’s said that both of Janay’s parents are very supportive of the couple’s marriage.

It would have been nice to hear solely from Janay, considering we’ve already heard from Ray and even friends of the couple. But that’s not how the cookie crumbled, for whatever reason.

No official air date has been announced but we’ll be sure to keep you posted.