Yesterday, after TMZ released video footage of Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice brutally attacking his then-fiance Janay Palmer, Rice was cut from the team by the NFL. Instead of sympathy or concern, Janay has mostly been the target of criticism, in particular for marrying her abuser and/or somehow inciting the violence in the first place. Writer Beverly Gooden grew fed up with the victim-blaming nonsense she saw on her Twitter feed, and decided to share her own story of abuse. Gooden told Mic, ”When I saw those tweets, my first reaction was shame. The same shame that I felt back when I was in a violent marriage. It’s a sort of guilt that would make me crawl into a shell and remain silent. But today, for a reason I can’t explain, I’d had enough. I knew I had an answer to everyone’s question of why victims of violence stay. I can’t speak for Janay Rice, I can only speak for me…I want people to know that they have a voice! That they have the power. That’s so critical, that survivors feel empowered.” Keep reading »
My ex-husband was the most romantic person I’ve ever met. He also hit me on the day we got married, while I was wearing my wedding dress.
That’s why when I saw the footage of ex-Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée Janay Palmer, I wasn’t surprised that she was now his wife. It isn’t — as many of the commenters on the original TMZ video have said — “all about the money,” or “she doesn’t care about taking a punch,” and it’s especially not that “she is telling all women it’s okay for your man to beat you.”
Domestic violence is so much more complicated than a lack of money, or not having self-respect, or feeling like it’s OK for your man to beat up on you. I’m not an expert on what makes women stay in abusive relationships or even marry their abuser. But I did both of these things and I can speak to my particular story. Keep reading »
UPDATE, 2:45p.m.: The Baltimore Ravens terminated their contract with Ray Rice today following the release of the video by TMZ. According to ESPN, the Ravens had no other comment. [ESPN]
- TMZ released a video of Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée Janay Palmer out cold during an argument in an elevator. The video appears to have been shot by asecurity system in the Revel Hotel and Casino in New Jersey, where Rice attacked Palmer on February 15th. In the video, Rice is seen shoving or slapping Palmer against the wall of the elevator. She responds by lunging towards him, but Rice punches Palmer so hard she knocks her head on the side of the elevator and hits the ground. (What is perhaps most gut-wrenching is that Rice doesn’t look particularly shocked at what he just did.) When the elevator doors open, Rice drags her lifeless body from the elevator and she lies facedown on the floor. Within a few seconds, someone appears outside the elevator doors talking to Rice. Palmer eventually sits up, but appears to be in pain. The whole video — which resulted in a paltry two-game suspension for Rice back in July — is extremely disturbing. But you know what? This is what domestic violence looks like, people. [TMZ] Keep reading »
The NFL has updated its personal conduct policy to suspend any player or personnel without pay for six games if he commits an act of domestic violence. If there is a second incident, he would be banned by the league or a year before he could petition for reinstatement. The policy applies to domestic violence, assault, battery and sexual assault. Both changes will be effective immediately. Keep reading »
When gun violence is addressed, the first thing that comes to mind are horrific mass shootings, but one of the most common victims of gun violence are women with abusive partners. Abused women are five times more likely to be murdered by their abuser if the abuser owns a gun, and more than half of all women murdered by guns in the US are killed by their partners. The nonprofit Everytown put together this powerful ad in support of the Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act, which would prevent domestic abusers and stalkers from being able to get a gun. It’s hard to think of scenes like this as a reality, but they will continue to happen every day until policy changes are in place to better protect women. Think before pressing play, because it’s a bit disturbing. [Smart Gun Laws, Everytown]
So, Stephen A. Smith had a bust weekend. The ESPN panelist kicked off Friday with some what-the-fuck-did-he-just-say? remarks about victims who “provoke” domestic violence and all Internet hell broke loose. On the show “First Take,” Smith and other panelists were discussing Ray Rice, an NFL player who physically assaulted his now-wife and has been suspended for two games. (By the way, the NFL is quite rightly being criticized for this slap on the wrist punishment — another player is currently being suspended for a full year for smoking pot.) In seeming sympathy with abusers, Smith shared his opinion at two different points in the conversation that some DV can be provoked.
“Let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions,” he said, adding later, “We … got to make sure [victims] can do your part to do whatever you can do to make, to try to make sure it doesn’t happen.” Keep reading »