Program Directory

City Club of Cleveland - Victor River, Domestic Violence Expert
Victor River's dramatic personal story reflects an amazing portrait of a young man overcoming the odds. Born in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba, he came with his family to this country at the age of two, enduring horrific child abuse and witnessing domestic violence on the level of torture at the hands of his father. At age fifteen, Victor took the then unprecedented legal action against his father, going on to live with a series of foster families.

Thanks to the intervention of his community, he turned his life around dramatically-going from hard-core gang-member to senior class President and lettering in four sports. He attended Florida State University on a full four-year football scholarship, where he was a team captain, scholar and athlete, and was mentored by Coach Bobby Bowden, before his 1978-79 seasons as a free agent draft pick with the Miami Dolphins

In 1999 Victor became the national spokesperson for the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Today, having broken the cycle of violence, Victor Rivas Rivers is also a devoted husband and father-what he believes are his two most important roles. It is his indomitable spirit as an actor, athlete and as a human being that may have inspired director Taylor Hackford to call him, "A big man-in heart and soul."
May 8, 2009