Press Release: Statement on professional athlete Reuben Foster

A statement from Katie Ray-Jones, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline in response to the recent arrest of professional athlete, Reuben Foster, on domestic violence charges and the Washington Redskins decision to put a waiver claim for him.

“Despite many Americans stating that domestic violence is never okay, it remains highly pervasive in our society.  While cases like the one involving pro football player Reuben Foster make headlines, the fact is one in four women (24.3%) and one in seven men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Whether they’re a small business or a large organization like the Washington Redskins, we believe employers can play a critical role in ending domestic violence by ensuring that they have policies in place that protect victims, educate employees, and provide resources to help abusers access the tools they need to change their behavior.

While we do not comment on allegations, the rush by the Washington Redskins to give Foster a place in their organization while an investigation is underway, sends the wrong message that bad personal behavior is condoned if you are good at what you do professionally. Every day at The National Domestic Violence Hotline, we answer between 1600 and 2000 contacts from victims of abuse. Domestic violence is never okay and the blame for abusive behavior is solely the responsibility of the abusive partner.

For those who may wonder why any victim of domestic violence remains in an abusive relationship, we encourage you to learn more about the complexities of domestic violence by visiting Whether it be for their children, their pets, their family, a lack of financial means, fear of their abusive partner, and even love, a domestic violence victim may choose to stay in an abusive relationship. Our experience tells us that survivors will leave and return approximately seven times before they leave their abuser for good.

For those who are a victim of domestic violence or for those who know someone affected by abuse, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is a vital resource. To reach an expert advocate, simply call 1-800-799-SAFE, TTY 1-800-787-3224 or visit for the option to live chat and to get more information about domestic violence and available resources. Advocates are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and interpreters are available in 220 languages.”

— Katie Ray-Jones, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline