MSU preventing domestic violence with NFL announcement

(MGN Online)
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Rachel Berzack meets victims of domestic violence every day.

"We bury it and put it in the back of our mind," Berzack, community relations coordinator for End Violent Encounters, said. "It's just something that's so awful and so traumatic that we don't want to think about it."

She works to provide shelter and counseling for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

And she says it seems like a never ending problem.

"While we've made positive changes and are definitely making an impact, I think by and large there's still that same idea that what happens behind closed doors isn't any of our business," Berzack said.

The problem is on the minds of professional athletes after the NFL started a two strikes rule Thursday.

Any employee charged with sexual assault or domestic violence is suspended for six games.

On a second offense, banned for life.

With the NFL taking a stance, MSU athletics is keeping a close eye on the problem.

"We take this extremely seriously," said Jim Pignataro, student athlete support services director for MSU. "There is no wiggle room in our regulations."

All MSU athletes have to go through the Mentors in Violence Prevention program twice a year, as well as the Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence program required for all MSU students.

The school is revising its policies on violence and assault to increase student responsibility.

And Rachel Berzack thinks that's a step in the right direction.

"I always think the community can do more," Berzack said.

More to prevent what she sees every day.

For more information about domestic violence prevention in Mid-Michigan, please call (517) 372-5572.