The Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage held its inaugural event “Women for Courage” luncheon Monday featuring Jane Randel, who has been instrumental in helping the NFL address its domestic violence education needs.
Randel, the co-founder of the NO MORE Campaign, addressed over 700 attendees with a message that focused the need for a heightened awareness on the issue among bystanders and the corporate community.
The event was organized by community activists Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble and his wife, Jan Kimble, whose daughter Jamie Kimble was killed by an ex-boyfriend on Labor Day, 2012.
In an interview with the Observer prior to the luncheon, Randel declined to discuss anything specific related to the NFL’s investigation of former Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy. However, she said it was “heartening” that the rash of domestic violence cases involving NFL players last year brought more attention to the issue:
“The fact that someone like the NFL is taking on these issues in a broader way for maybe terrible reasons, but the end result – the fact that you’re asking me questions about the NFL, the fact that other leagues have picked up on these issues, the fact that there was a TV commercial about domestic violence, sexual assault in the Super Bowl – that is a huge sign of culture change.”
Q: What is your overarching theme for the Charlotte crowd?
A: What we’ve been trying to do is normalize the conversation. We talk about things now in a way that we never talked about them before. We all over-share. Yet this issue (domestic violence) is still something that is hidden. And it thrives in the darkness. How do we normalize the conversation? How do we talk about this is a way that removes the shame and blame and stigma and judgment? How do we get people asking the right questions, instead of what was she wearing, was she drunk or why didn’t she just leave? We should be turning it around and putting the blame on the person that perpetrated the abuse.
Q: You are advocating changes in the corporate approach to domestic violence. What needs to change?
A: Imagine living in a home where you don’t feel safe, or being harassed with phone calls or emails.... even flowers at work from someone they don’t want to get flowers from. These are issues that permeate the workplace. How do you deal with someone who has been a star employee, but is suddenly not doing as well? And how do you, as a company, deal with it if they have an order or protection? What do you do? Those are the kinds of things companies need to think about. We’re talking about creating policies or guidelines to deal with this issue inside a company ... creating a more in-depth policy with protocols.
Q: If a company wants to do this, how would you suggest they get started?
A: There are places to go for polices, guidelines and help on these issues. Places like (Charlotte-based) Safe Alliance. A lot of companies are doing it, but it’s not enough.
Staff reporter Joseph Person contributed to this story.