There are so many things in life that are far more easier said than done. It is so easy to talk about something, and it is even harder to do it, or even be about it. On the subject of domestic abuse, it seems so easy just to leave the relationship. But how easy, or how hard is it really? The last thing you expect of the partner whom you have given your all to, whom you entrusted with your life, and the person whom you’ve chosen to spend your life with, is an abusive relationship. When two people are wed, domestic abuse seems like a topic that is irrelevant. A couple can stop and think and say “that’ll never happen to us”. As we have seen in every day life, domestic abuse can occur between any couple married or not, at any given time. It can occur unexpectedly, and it can occur even in a relationship that at one time was smoother than you could ever think possible. It is something that needs to end very soon.
Domestic abuse has been exposed greatly in the last two or three months especially in the NFL, and new cases appear on Sportscenter almost daily now, or so it seems. The biggest name case, not that domestic abuse has levels of severity or importance, is that of Ray Rice and his then fiancee Janay Palmer. Ray Rice was suspended for two games after the league heard about the incident, and then upon the TMZ release of the video footage, Rice was then suspended indefinitely. He was subsequently released by the Ravens, as they did not want to associate themselves with a man who beat a woman, even if he was once their Golden Boy. I must say that I am extremely guilty of being negatively captivated by the video. If you haven’t already seen the video, I am hesitant to post the link, but in case your curiosity is strong enough here it is. As a disclaimer, the video it very raw and uncut and is the full tape of the events that occurred in the elevator.
I say that I am captivated by this tape because for some reason, I could not stop watching. I was in shock that a man of Ray Rice’s physical and public stature would push and then knock his wife out cold. And his blow wasn’t any lousy punch… it was strong enough to knock a grown man off his feet as well. It does not matter that his wife gave him a shove before they got into the elevator, and it is somewhat irrelevant that we don’t know exactly what went on earlier in the night that led up to this very unfortunate and disgusting event. What Ray Rice did was unacceptable and personally, I feel that any man who puts his hands on a woman in an abusive fashion is a coward. No ifs, ands, or buts.
All this being said, the main question still remains: why did Janay follow through on her engagement and decide to marry her abuser? It would make zero sense to marry a person that knocked you out cold right? There are so many speculations as to why Janay Palmer decided to become Janay Rice. Some say it was because of the money and the benefits that come along with having a husband in the NFL. Only Janay Rice knows the true answer.
On the internet I found this link through “I AM UNBEATABLE”, which we got a great look at in Cohen. A writer named Beverly Gooden, a once upon a time victim of domestic violence saw the same speculations as to why Janay Rice married Ray Rice, and decided to take a stand. Gooden created a social media movement on Twitter with the hash tag, #WhyIStayed. As you read through some of the tweets, you will find it extremely difficult not to take some to heart. It broke my heart to hear the 140 character or less stories of women who stayed with their abusers because they thought true love would ultimately prevail. Beverly Gooden tweets: “I tried to leave the house once after an abusive episode, and he blocked me. He slept in front of the door that entire night. #WhyIStayed”, “I stayed because my pastor told me that God hates divorce. It didn’t cross my mind that God might hate abuse, too. #WhyIStayed”, “He said he would change. He promised it was the last time. I believed him. He lied. #WhyIStayed”, “I stayed because I thought love was enough to conquer all. #WhyIStayed”…It is heartbreaking that there are women in this country and across the world that endure these understated hardships because they feel like they have nothing, no one to turn to, and no other options. Here’s the link to Beverly Gooden’s #WhyIStayed page.
Domestic abuse is not love. There is no room for domestic abuse in any relationships, no mater or casual or serious. It is so easy to tell everyone who has been or is currently a victim of domestic abuse to get up and just walk out the door. But where do they go? Who do they turn to? Who will protect them? Since they feel like the abuser still loves them, who will love them? It is easy to make excuses for someone who you love. If anyone is in a relationship involving domestic abuse, there is no love. Love is not physically painful, a couple who truly love each other can attest to that. Simply, we must do something to help put an end to domestic abuse.