NFL will fund and staff national domestic and sexual violence outreach programs, according to memo

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NFL will fund and staff national domestic and sexual violence outreach programs, according to memo
After months of criticism over the NFL's handling of domestic-abuse cases, Commissioner Roger Goodell is announcing a plan for how he intends to fix the problem. He sat for an interview with WSJ's Monica Langley.
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 08: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell holds a press conference on October 8, 2014 in New York City. Goodell addressed the media at the conclusion of the annual Fall league meeting in the wake of a string of high-profile incidents, including the domestic violence case of Ray Rice. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft speaks at an NFL press conference announcing new measures for the league's personal conduct policy during an owners meeting, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, in Irving, Texas. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell looks on at left. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, left, looks on as Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President Charlotte Jones Anderson speaks at an NFL press conference during an owners meeting, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, in Irving, Texas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson leaves the courthouse with his wife Ashley Brown Peterson Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Conroe, Texas. Adrian Peterson avoided jail time on in a plea agreement reached with prosecutors to resolve his child abuse case. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
FILE - In this July 28, 2014, file photo, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson looks on during NFL football training camp in Mankato, Minn. Peterson acknowledges he struck his young son with a branch, but insists he did not commit a crime. That belief is to draw further attention this week when the case against the Vikings' star running back goes before a Texas judge. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Ray Rice arrives with his wife Janay Palmer for an appeal hearing of his indefinite suspension from the NFL, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
FILE - In this Oct. 19, 2014, file photo, Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett carries the ball in the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Baltimore. Forsett got his chance when Ray Rice got cut for his domestic violence case. "He's got great vision, is very elusive and hard to tackle," Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 19: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell walks to the podium during a press conference at the Hilton Hotel on September 19, 2014 in New York City. Goodell spoke about the NFL's failure to address domestic violence, sexual assault and drug abuse in the league. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 19: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell talks during a press conference at the Hilton Hotel on September 19, 2014 in New York City. Goodell spoke about the NFL's failure to address domestic violence, sexual assault and drug abuse in the league. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, left, with Adrian Peterson RB out of Oklahoma chosen seventh by the Minnesota Vikings during the NFL draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York, NY on Saturday, April 28, 2007. (Photo by Richard Schultz/NFLPhotoLibrary)
Baltimore Ravens football player and former Rutgers University standout, Ray Rice holds hands with his wife Janay Palmer as they arrive at Atlantic County Criminal Courthouse in Mays Landing, N.J., Thursday, May 1, 2014. After Rice and Janay Palmer got into a physical altercation on Feb. 15 at an Atlantic City casino, both were charged with simple assault-domestic violence. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Attorney Gloria Allred, left, leaves at a news conference with Clarence Watley, the father of Rasheedah Watley, a former girlfriend of NFL football player Brandon Marshall, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, in Marietta, Ga. Watley said his his daughter was abused by Marshall. Watley is calling for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to resign because he's disappointed in the way the league handled his daughter's abuse case, calling the investigation one-sided. Marshall was suspended for three games in 2008, but the suspension was reduced to one game, and he has denied the allegations. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Baltimore Ravens football player and former Rutgers University standout, Ray Rice holds hands with his wife Janay Palmer as they arrive at Atlantic County Criminal Courthouse in Mays Landing, N.J., Thursday, May 1, 2014. After Rice and Janay Palmer got into a physical altercation on Feb. 15 at an Atlantic City casino, both were charged with simple assault-domestic violence. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Clarence Watley, right, the father of Rasheedah Watley, who he said was abused by her former boyfriend NFL football player Brandon Marshall, speaks at a news conference with with attorney Gloria Allred, center, and Kristeena Spivey, left, a friend of Rasheedah's, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, in Marietta, Ga. Watley is calling for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to resign because he's disappointed in the way the league handled his daughter's abuse case, calling the investigation one-sided. Marshall was suspended for three games in 2008, but the suspension was reduced to one game, and he has denied the allegations. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 04: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (R) walks the sidelines prior to the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field on September 4, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
FILE - In this March 21, 2011, file photo, Jeff Pash, lead counsel for the NFL, speaks during a news conference at the NFL owners meetings in New Orleans. The two NFL owners overseeing the investigation into how the league pursued and handled evidence in the Ray Rice domestic violence case pledged Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 to make the findings of the probe public, and said their goal was "to get the truth." (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2014, file photo, NFL chief security officer Jeffrey Miller speaks during a news conference about security measures set for Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium, in East Rutherford, N.J. The two NFL owners overseeing the investigation into how the league pursued and handled evidence in the Ray Rice domestic violence case pledged Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 to make the findings of the probe public, and said their goal was "to get the truth." (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2013, file photo, former NFL football player Troy Vincent speaks during a news conference in New Orleans. The two NFL owners overseeing the investigation into how the league pursued and handled evidence in the Ray Rice domestic violence case pledged Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 to make the findings of the probe public, and said their goal was "to get the truth." (AP Photo/Doug Benc, File)
FILE - In this March 25, 2014, file photo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers questions during a news conference at the NFL football annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. Players will be subject to a six-week suspension for a first domestic violence offense and banishment from the league for a second under a new policy outlined by Commissioner Roger Goodell in a letter and memo sent to all 32 teams owners Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, and obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
FILE - In this March 10, 2014, file photo, Maine Gov. Paul LePage speaks during a news conference in Brunswick, Maine. Gov. Paul LePage, outraged that National Football League player Ray Rice received only a two-game suspension for a domestic violence arrest, pledged to boycott the league and called on its commissioner to take the issue seriously, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, left, address members of the media during a football safety clinic for mothers, Thursday, May 29, 2014 at the team's facilities in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 04: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (R) walks the sidelines prior to the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field on September 4, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2014, file photo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell takes the field before the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos in East Rutherford, N.J. A law enforcement official says he sent a video of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee to an NFL employee five months ago, while league executives have insisted they didn't see the violent images until they were published this week. The person played The Associated Press a 12-second voicemail from an NFL office number confirming the video arrived on April 9. A female voice expresses thanks for providing the video and says: "You're right. It's terrible." Goodell sent a memo on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, to the 32 teams reiterating that the NFL never saw the video until Monday, Sept. 8. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell talks to players at Wake Forest High School in Wake Forest, N.C., on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. He observed practice, talked to the players and took questions from the media. He was there to promote the NFL's Heads Up player safety program. He also took questions about the Ray Rice incident. (Chris Seward/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
FILE - In this May 23, 2014, file photo, Janay Rice, left, looks on as her husband, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, speaks to the media during a news conference in Owings Mills, Md. A law enforcement official says he sent a video of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee to an NFL executive five months ago, while league officers have insisted they didn't see the violent images until this week. The person played The Associated Press a 12-second voicemail from an NFL office number on April 9 confirming the video arrived. A female voice expresses thanks and says: "You're right. It's terrible." (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice pauses as he speaks during an NFL football news conference, Friday, May 23, 2014, at the team's practice facility in Owings Mills, Md. Rice and his wife Janay spoke to the media for the first time since his arrest for assaulting his then-fiance at a casino in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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By RYAN GORMAN

The National Football League will begin funding and promoting domestic and sexual violence outreach and support programs as part of a broad sweeping initiative launched in response to recent player-involved incidents, Commissioner Roger Goodell announced in a Thursday memo to teams.

The league will provide long-term financial, operational and promotional support to the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, Goodell wrote. It will also begin mandatory domestic and sexual violence educational sessions for all league executives, staff, coaches and players.

Goodell's memo comes as growing pressure is mounting for him to publicly speak about the controversy surrounding many players including former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. It was posted to Facebook by ESPN reporter Adam Schefter.

The league's action came after it was revealed The Hotline received 84 percent more calls last week but was able to answer less than half, said the commissioner.

"That must not continue," Goodell insisted, adding that "The Hotline will add 25 full-time advocates over the next few weeks that will result in an additional 750 calls a day being answered."

The NSVRC's "Loveisrespect" chat service will soon be able to provide 24-hour-a-day text chats for young adults affected by dating abuse, according to the memo. Other support from the league will be distributed at the state level to ensure more effective outreach at the local level.

Players, coaches, staff and executives – every single person employed by the league – will soon be mandated to attend "broad educational programs" within the next 30 days addressing the league's growing domestic and sexual violence problem, Goodell said.

"These initial sessions will begin to provide the men and women of the NFL with information and tools to understand and recognize domestic violence and sexual assault," said the commissioner.

Teams will begin receiving comprehensive information about domestic and sexual violence resources in their communities. Goodell did not mention if further information would be sent to spouses of those employed the league.

Additional training programs will be developed in the coming months as the league unveils other initiatives aimed at bringing awareness to what many feel has so far been a problem largely ignored by teams and executives.

"We will continue to work with experts to expand and develop long-term programs that raise awareness, educate, and prevent domestic violence and sexual assault both within the NFL and in our society in general."

There was no indication in the memo that Goodell would speak publicly about these initiatives. He has not made any public statements since last week.

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