NFL Honors Arizona Advocates for Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence – ABC15

PHOENIX — Among all the Super Bowl fun, the NFL also took time Thursday to thank a special group of people working to end domestic and sexual violence.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the mother of cardinals wideout DeAndre Hopkins, Sabrina Greenlee, thanked the attendees who gathered from across Arizona for the Unsung Heroes Celebration.

From Sells to Flagstaff, dozens of advocates were invited by the NFL to a celebratory brunch to honor their work in the fight to end domestic and sexual violence and uplift survivors.

The League hopes these heroes can enjoy Super Bowl week too.

“It’s really much more than a game, it’s about all the work we do in the community surrounding the game and the legacy the league leaves once the game is over and these events are part of that legacy. Not everyone gets to attend the game but people get to feel the super bowl in so many other ways and they deserve to,” said Anna Isaacson, the NFL’s senior vice president of social responsibility.

Marcella Encinas and Karen Velasco are victim advocates for a domestic and sexual violence prevention program in Sells.

They drove more than three hours from the Tohono O’odham Nation to be part of the celebration.

“Those that work in the field of victim services often don’t get recognized for the work that they do and the NFL, being that the super bowl was here this year was wanting to recognize victim services across southern Arizona, so that was really exciting and we were grateful to get the invitation,” Velasco said.

“To get the invitation and be recognized by the NFL, I mean all of these people here are being recognized for the work they do. There’s local advocates, people from national organizations, these are the people who are on the front lines,” Tracey Breeden, CEO of Disrupt the Landing said.

Her organization helps tech companies create safer environments free of domestic and sexual violence.

This is the ninth year since the NFL began its campaign to end domestic and sexual violence.

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