Colts Dwayne Allen speaks passionately about stopping domestic violence
INDIANAPOLIS – To start off Thursday’s announcement, he stood off to the far left as the last one in a long line of people who gathered the announcement at the Colts 56th street complex.
What transpired was the announcement of a joint effort between the Colts and Verizon Wireless to hold the 2nd Annual HopeLine Drive for Coburn Place Safe Haven, an Indianapolis organization that aids women and children who are victims of domestic violence.
The team along with Verizon have pledged 20-thousand dollars to Coburn Place and have a goal as part of the HopeLine drive to collect 1,013 used cell phones-which equals the number of children helped by the organization since it opened in 1996.
Soon after this announcement began, however, Allen found himself center stage with a passionate story about his own experience with domestic violence.
“Growing up where I grew up in the inner city of Fayetteville, N.C., unfortunately domestic violence was something that I saw regularly in my own household,” said Allen at the podium. “My mom had enough resources around her, that being people and money, to escape that situation.
“But a lot more families aren’t as fortunate.”
That is one reason why Allen has put himself at the front of this effort by the Colts to prevent domestic violence and help those who are victims. The effort will last the entire month of October and on the 19th the Colts will have a phone collection before their game against the Bengals at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“Domestic violence is an epidemic that usually goes silent. People don’t like to talk about it. People don’t like to bring it up,” said Allen. “Nearly one in every four women, one in every seven men and millions of children are affected by domestic violence. That’s why I’m excited to announce the partnership between the Colts and Verizon with HopeLine.”
The issue has been brought to the forefront of the NFL following the Ray Rice situation, the NFL’s initial handling of discipline in the case and the eventual release of a video showing Rice striking his fiance in an elevator in Atlantic City. Calls for action have come from various groups outside of football while the league itself has vowed to increase it’s punishment of players found to have abused others.
As part of the effort, Allen calls on players to set an example for others with themselves in the case of domestic violence.
“Myself, in light of recent events around the league am not here to condone or condemn what has been going on. But as role models, it’s our responsibility to demonstrate what it is to be a character and a citizen in good standing,” said Allen. “What it means to be a father in some cases, a big brother, in a positive light in the community. Whether we like being in the limelight or not, it doesn’t matter. We know that it comes with our profession.
“It’s our job to step up to the plate and be those role models for millions of people, including a lot of children.”