While the direct blame for abuse rests solely on the abusers, we live in a culture that supports and perpetuates the cycle of violence. It is on all of us to listen, support and validate the voices of those who come forward. Victims shouldn’t feel censored or have their stories dismissed just because there isn’t a direct line solution to their complicated realities. We cannot get to #WhyILeft without confronting the reasons #WhyIStayed.
At first glance, Charlotte Alter’s piece on Time.com, “Instead of Asking Women Why They Stay, We Should Ask Men Why They Hit,” sounds sensible. In 140 characters, it even seemed empowering — almost spectacularly right on the money.
Why are we asking Janay Rice and other victims of intimate partner violence to explain themselves?? Abuse survivors shouldn’t need to justify their circumstances and choices in a hashtag. Shouldn’t we be as shocked and appalled at that conversation as Alter seems to be?
Actually, no. It turns out, she has missed the point entirely. Keep reading »
“[S]ome might even say, watching that video, Ray Rice is the bigger victim of domestic violence here. .. [S]ome might say I’m defending Ray Rice here. Maybe I am, but if you watch the video, the video actually makes him look better than he did before. She repeatedly attacked him. He’s a victim — flat-out fact — of domestic violence. Only after she’s hit him several times and spit on him does he finally hit back. And she happens because of that blow to knock herself out on the [elevator's] railing. That was an unintended consequence, I’m sure.”
This is A.J. Delgado, a female columnist for the conservative National Review, speaking as a guest yesterday on Sean Hannity’s radio show. Not even Rice’s defense lawyers could have come up with this, uh, creative theory that Janay Palmer Rice actually knocked herself out when she failed to properly absorb her then-fiance’s punch to her head. Really, if Janay hadn’t been so foolish to smack her head into the elevator railing, maybe she wouldn’t have been out cold! It’s so, so sad when a clumsy woman makes it look like her man is abusing her. [Raw Story]
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 »