Wife’s Perspective: Standing Up For What’s Right In Everyday Life


City of Champions co-editor Matt Gajtka welcomes his wife Jillian back for her “Wife’s Perspective” column. Read her previous piece on how baseball improves their marriage.

Last week we saw an end to Donald Sterling’s attendance at Los Angeles Clippers games, as the longtime owner was banned by the NBA for alleged racist remarks.

Adam Silver, the new NBA Commissioner, made a bold move by banning Sterling for life from the NBA and giving him a hefty fine. In the upcoming days and weeks ahead, we will find out whether or not Sterling will also have to sell the team when the other owners in the NBA meet.

Whatever the outcome of that meeting is, one thing is for sure: Silver stood up for what is right. As a society, we can hopefully move forward after an event like this.

Part of the reason I occasionally write for City of Champions is to shed light on sports-related issues from the viewpoint of a wife and/or female. Today’s column deals with all areas of life and careers, including professional athletes, lawyers, teachers, preachers and doctors, from people who get by on minimum wage to those making millions.

What am I talking about? Domestic violence.

On July 7, it will be three years since four members of my family were murdered as a result of violence in the home. My cousin, Jenny, was attempting to flee her abusive husband when he killed her, their daughter and her parents, along with three other people on that horrific day.

In the days and weeks that followed, our family came together and I – for the first time – realized that domestic violence is real. I can remember in college they would have speakers come in to talk about respecting yourself and signs that you may be in an abusive relationship, but I never really thought it would affect anyone close to me.

After this tragedy, I discovered that one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime and that every day, three women are killed attempting to leave their situation.

These numbers are troubling and deeply upsetting, but what are we as a society doing to lower them? Adam Silver recognized right away that Donald Sterling’s actions and words were not OK and did something about it, yet society sometimes refuses to discuss the topic of domestic violence because it is difficult and can affect anyone.

This Saturday, my family, along with other family members, friends and community members will be walking and running in memory of my cousin Jenny and all the women who tried or are still trying to free themselves from abuse. We will continue to be their voice and just like Silver, we will stand up for what is right.

For more information on domestic violence and to get help, check out www.safehavenministries.org or your local women’s shelter. If you’d like to make a donation to our cause as we “Run for Jenny,” click here.

Help be a voice to those who need one.