Women Helping Women strongly advocates that community leaders speak up for survivors and speak out against domestic violence and sexual assault. On Friday, April 28th the Cincinnati Bengals drafted Joe Mixon to become a new member of their team. As the leading regional agency in serving nearly 7,000 survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault per year, Women Helping Women advocates that the Bengals, as well as any other Cincinnati corporation, take a strong stance against domestic violence and sexual assault.

“We expect businesses in our great city, and this includes sports teams, to place a high value on speaking out against both domestic violence and sexual assault“ said Kristin Smith-Shrimplin, President and CEO of Women Helping Women. “Athletes are recruited and hired for their skills and talent both on and off the field. We need our beloved home teams to hire positive role models and champions for our community-and this means that champions do not commit violence against women.”

Violence against women and girls is crime and a public health epidemic. Our area has already seen far too many domestic violence assaults as well as domestic violence homicides in our community this year. While Women Helping Women is constantly working at capacity as it serves nearly 7,000 survivors a year, we need all members of our vital community to join us and to stand up for survivors. No one deserves to be abused or assaulted.

Women Helping Women encourages the Brown family, Marvin Lewis and all others in the Cincinnati Bengals administration, as well as all influential leaders in our great city to use their power to shape a winning culture, both on and off the field. We expect that franchises and leaders with such power to represent our city and to encourage a culture that reflects our Cincinnati values.

The Bengals have an opportunity to send a message to their fans.  There is an opportunity to teach our children about character-building, team work, and respect-both on and off the field. There is an opportunity to message to young athletes at our high schools and on college campuses what we expect in a champion. We expect players to lead by example.

Violence holds no honor and should hold no position on a team. Violence is already too rampant where 1 in 3 women experiences physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Our community deserves better.

Corporations, sports teams, policy makers and consumers have a powerful opportunity to promote community social responsibility in our region. Women Helping Women advocates that we all operate from the same playbook, working together as a team to combat gender-based violence and to promote a safe and thriving community.