Okay. Point blank. I am so tired of reading about this.
Ray Rice beat his wife. I don’t know if this was a regular occurance or a one time thing. The NFL found out about the charges pressed but did nothing at the time. Then, a video is released, goes viral, and he loses his career.
His wife pleads that the video be taken down. That the news stories stop.
Stories flood the internet: why I stayed, why I left…statistics appear. Opinions surface. Media explodes. Women rage.
Yes, domestic violence is HUGE. I get that. I really do. But there are so many judgments being made, generalizations happening, and assumptions taking place that I just want to scream at the damn video threads!
Why shouldn’t we be talking about this? Shaming Ray Rice? Humiliating Janay Rice, ignoring her pleas to leave her family alone?
There are many reasons that women don’t leave abusive relationships, and many of those can be found on these popup stories and videos currently rushing the internet. But, there are many reasons why women don’t leave that are being overlooked. Here are just a few.
1. Because the woman is the abuser.
Yes, statistics show that women are more likely to be the abused. But, men are also less likely to report due to their desire to seem tough, macho, or stronger than their spouse. Especially in small, rural towns, good-ole-boy police are unlikely to believe male victims, and regardless, they often demean or shame the male victim for being weaker than his wife.
Where are the stories covering males, and why aren’t they cropping up all over the world wide web?
2. Most intimate murder cases occur as the result of retaliation against the runner.
If you get away, you’re in the clear. Never to be abused again.
Unless your abuser finds you. And kills you. Or your children. Or your family. If you live with a truly demented abuser, sometimes the emotional, mental, or even physical abuse is better than the potential consequences of leaving.
3. It was a one time thing.
Yeah. I see the bruises peeking out from her long sleeve shirt. I notice that she keeps her sunglasses on when she goes inside.
But, she loves him. And he promises he won’t do it again.
And this is sometimes legitimate. Have you ever been in a fight at school? Were you pushed to the edge until you cracked, and pulled that girl`s hair, fingernails dug into her forearm, a harsh punch thrown against her stomach? How are you any different?
A famous quote goes something like “everyone in life will hurt you; life is about figuring out the ones worth hurting for.” And sometimes, it’s that simple. If s/he hit you because you pushed him/her to the edge, and their passion and undying love turned to rage…maybe it was a very poor reaction to their over the top emotions.
Edit: inserting newly found appropriate photo here, from https://m.facebook.com/faultinourstarsmovie.
There are many other reasons why women don’t leave, and yeah, they’re covered on numerous articles plastered online.
It is very important to talk about these, and in this respect, the information popping up online is great.
But why should we stop talking about Ray Rice?
1. We are giving him attention.
Assuming, which I don’t but it seems everyone else does, that he is a habitual perpetrator of domestic violence and is therefore probably sadistic, sociopathic, or psychotic, he is feeding on the immense amount of attention he is getting. To psychologically unbalanced individuals, this attention, though negative, is attention nonetheless and attention is validating.
For all the non-famous spouse abusers…well, we are validating them too. Pro football player beats his wife and gets all the attention he can imagine.
2. Maybe it was a one time thing.
That girl you punched, because she hit on your boyfriend and called you a whore? You served your detention. You said you were sorry. You moved on.
If this wasn’t habitual domestic violence, and he apologized, and Janay made the choice to forgive him, who the hell are you to tell her she was wrong? People make mistakes. People change. People forget or forgive, and sometimes both. That decision is not yours to make.
3. Perpetrators use the weaknesses and mistakes, whether real or imagined, of their victims to validate their actions. If Rice is a domestic abuser, he validates his actions with the shortcomings of Janay.
The fact that the video surfaced is Janay’s fault. (PLEASE stay with me here.) Though it has absolutely nothing to do with her, as she did not leak the video herself, the perpetrator may blame her for provoking him at an inappropriate time. If she hadn’t infuriated him in public, that elevator incident wouldn’t have occurred. If he is a domestic abuser, we are pushing him further and the loss of his career paired with the negative, never-ending media attention could make him beat his wife more. Harder. Kill her.
I am all for psychoeducation, personal sharing, and distribution of resources. But, using Janay as a billboard is inappropriate, insincere, and disrespectful. She wants it to stop.
But it doesn’t.
Edit: Wow, just as I am getting frustrated about all this dominating the internet, a semi “good” article on domestic violence actually appears.
We’re Asking the Wrong Questions