The NFL is immediately implementing a sweeping domestic violence initiative that calls for a six-game suspension for a first offense and a lifetime ban from the league for a second offense. The harsh measures, announced in a letter from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to all team owners, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN, apply to all NFL personnel.

A six-game suspension would come without pay and the length of the penalty could increase in cases where an employee was involved in a prior incident before joining the NFL, or violence involving a weapon, choking, repeated striking, or when the act is committed against a pregnant woman or in the presence of a child.

A second-time offender may petition for reinstatement after one year but there is no assurance the petition will be granted, the letter said.