It was the genuine and intense emotion in the woman’s eyes that was like a lightning bolt into Glover Quin’s soul. “It was a real moment,” he recalled.
The Detroit Lions safety had gone to deliver coats to a local Detroit-area shelter, which houses victims of domestic violence. Because it is considered a safe house, Glover was told that he might not see any of the women who reside there. Some were at work, others stayed in the privacy of their rooms or parts of the house that were off-limits to him.
As he helped unpack and sort the coats, a staff member silently picked one up and left the room. Suddenly, another woman appeared. Without hesitation, she walked up to Quin, grabbed his hand and looked directly into his eyes. She was almost in tears. She then turned, selected three more coats for her young children and left the room.
“It took me off guard,” Quin said. “That almost put me in tears.”
He stayed for a while listening to staff members tell him stories about their residents and what they had endured before finding their way to the shelter.
“Seeing it first-hand like that and hearing some of the stories makes me want to do more because it’s a real problem,” Quin said. “The people really need help. We have to figure out a way to raise awareness to do more and help these victims and end this domestic violence.”
Twenty-eight-year-old Quin has never been exposed to any type of domestic violence in his own life either with friends or family, but this experience touched him deeply. “I’ve been around some other types of [people with challenges], but that one right there was one of the realest moments I ever had. I didn’t have a conversation with her. I just saw the look in her eyes.”
The whole experience, including a fundraiser he attended recently to raise money for Detroit shelters and safe houses, has inspired Quin to delve more deeply into the cause of domestic violence awareness. Quin also took part in a League meeting discussion about the topic and experienced an epiphany of sorts.
“I suggested to our group that as men we don’t talk about our problems as much as women do. You need to have somebody you feel comfortable talking about stuff with. You have to be responsible for your own actions. You can’t blame a woman for making you hit her. If you know your button you have to know when to leave. The role of the man, the image of the man, needs to change. I think it’s good as a man that I’m vulnerable to my kids and I’m open and I can talk with them.”
In the past, Quin admitted he never had conversations with other men about the topic. He wasn’t exposed to anyone dealing with the issue and didn’t pay too close attention to the incidental, occasional grousing and griping about girlfriends and spouses of his friends or teammates. But, he realized that there is a need for being proactive, especially as a father of two young boys, (ages three and five) for whom he wants to set an appropriate example and instill appropriate behavior.
“When I do have a problem or an issue, I’m not afraid to talk about it because nine times out of 10 we all have the same problems and it may not to be to the same extent but it’s the same. Family, kids, cousins, parents, we all deal with the same stuff. There’s nothing wrong with talking about it because the next person may be dealing with the same thing.”
As a football player, Quin has always been an outspoken member of his locker room and wants to extend that into raising domestic violence awareness. He wants to set a tone where men can learn to drop some of their fears and insecurities so that whenever possible, the problem can be nipped in the bud and the idea of reaching out for help won’t be so intimidating.
“The goal has to be to do as much as we can on our end to end it,” he said “We have to get those (domestic violence) numbers as low as we possibly can to help society.”
To learn more about Glover Quin: www.gloverquin.com