True North view on MU athletics

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COLUMBIA - A video from February showing Ray Rice assaulting his now wife went public on Monday prompting the Baltimore Ravens to dismiss the running back from the team. The video shows Rice beating up Janay Palmer in a hotel elevator. The NFL has suspended Rice indefinitely.

An area domestic violence shelter director says MU is taking the right steps with its policy toward domestic violence and student athletes. 

"I believe the athletic department has zero tolerance for violence and that is very good to hear. Is that going to stop violence? Not always," Barbara Hodges, executive director of True North shelter, said. "I think with the Title IX initiative and with the new changes, I think that is all going to be very positive with the university." 

Hodges says the video has presented positive outcomes when it comes to school policies all across the country. 

"That awareness, that information, that visual horrible video, would have an impact on individuals, that it may redirect behaviors or it may get officials at the college and university level to look differently or just to take a look at their policies," Hodges said. "The more we can get the awareness out, the more we can educate, the more we can particularly interact with young people to redirect unacceptable behavior, violent patterns, the better off the whole society and community will be." 

But she says the conversation should never stop.

"It's always good to periodically look at what your policies and procedures are, how are you interacting with your student athletes, what is the culture and makes some changes if we need to, or just continue talking the talk." Hodges said. "That sometimes gets pushed aside, reasonably, so because you're focused on a mission that is athletic driven, but making them aware on a regular basis is always going to be good."