Whenever a story is reported of domestic violence crimes, many instantly think that a man committed the crime. For instance, there’s the Ray Rice (a former Baltimore Ravens NFL player) case where he allegedly physically abused his wife in an elevator. Women, too, have the power to physically hurt someone but historically, cases of male domestic violence have been more prominent in the media.
Hope Solo, goalkeeper for the US Women’s Soccer Team and two-time Olympic medalist, is arguably one of the more famous women’s soccer players in America, but she has been a controversial figure in recent years. Although she is expected to act as a role model to many, her name is now, and forever will be tied to the phrase domestic violence, even though the case where she was accused was dropped.
“The original accusers wouldn’t testify against her, but that doesn’t mean that she wouldn’t do it,” English teacher Jeff Mulvey said. “They are still family, and they might not have wanted to cause more problems.”
Solo was accused of hitting guests nonstop at a family party, and both her nephew and sister had visible injuries. Her attorney, however, denied that she had committed the crime, saying that Solo herself had been assaulted and sustained injuries during the incident. The judge eventually dropped the case because there wasn’t enough evidence to convict Solo.
Although Solo definitely has a history of being a controversial figure to the public eye, she does seem to have a soft side. She works with charities and often gives back to her community. That doesn’t mean that she wouldn’t physically hurt her own family members, but it does show that she isn’t only in the spotlight for causing a ruckus.
Men and women can both be the perpetrators in domestic violence cases. In a 2011 study conducted by the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), statistics show that men and women suffer almost equal rates of domestic violence crimes each year, with 6.5% of men and 6.3% of women who suffer each year.
NFL players Josh McNary, Junior Galette, and Jonathan Dwyer have domestic violence charges against them. Whether the outcome be undetermined, suspension, or being kicked off the team, there are many players in the NFL alone who have domestic violence crimes against them. Nearly 50% of the crimes committed by NFL players are crimes of domestic violence.
Solo has proven that she is comfortable in the public eye and in season 13, she accused her “Dancing With the Stars” partner of punching her.
In Solo’s memoir Solo: A Memoir of Hope, she accuses her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy of being very aggressive with her in their rehearsals, and even accused him of slapping her hard when she wouldn’t get the steps right. She also added that it continued to get worse throughout the season. According to Solo, she was hit so hard in the stomach by Maksim with an open palm that she had a red print on her stomach all day.
“I think her crime is equal and she should be treated the same way Ray Rice was treated,” sophomore Nate Rivard said. “Ray Rice went to jail and she should have to [as well].”
“There is no physical evidence of Hope actually hitting her family members, so we only have the idea in our head of her hitting someone. Whereas in Ray Rice’s case there was a video that was more glaring than Solo’s case,” Mulvey said.
Domestic violence isn’t a crime that only a man is capable of committing. The statistics clearly show neither gender is innocent of the crime. All that can be done is help those who are victims of domestic violence.