Today a very disturbing video was released that shows the Baltimore Ravens star running back Ray Rice assaulting his, then, fiancée in an Atlantic City casino.
It showed Rice knocking Janay Palmer unconscious with a single punch. In February, the same site released a video that showed Rice dragging Palmer out of the elevator, by her underarms, before dropping her face-down, her dress up and her feet still in the elevator. Palmer and Rice have since married and he stated at the press release that they are both better and stronger in their relationship since the incident. Honestly, it didn’t look like those were her feelings but who am I to judge? Today however, he was released by the Baltimore Ravens and indefinitely suspended by the National Football League.
This triggered a lot of thoughts on domestic violence: Why do women stay, why do they not just leave?
These questions are oftentimes the first two questions asked by an outside individual when they hear that a woman is in a domestic violence situation. So why does a woman stay in a domestic violence situation?
To fully understand why women stay in abusive relationships we must first acknowledge the many complex dynamics and obstacles that prevent leaving. It is easy to oversimplify an issue from an outside perspective. We are all prone to generalizations and over-simplifications. If it happened once will it happen again?
One of the hallmarks of an abusive relationship is the way an abuser isolates and controls a victim, and the way the victim herself may be in denial. The trauma she experiences becomes her “normal”. Oftentimes the risks are too great to leave when your self-worth and power have been decimated. Domestic is as much and more psychological abuse as it is physical abuse.
Battered women are the products of the crime of domestic violence – not the cause. Take the time to understand and support those individuals and families who are victims.
We know that, with the prevalence of family violence in our society, each individual, male and female, will be impacted by family violence and/or sexual violence in their family system and/or social circle during their lifetime.
We, as a community, are uncomfortable with domestic violence. This is partly due to our own sense of self protection; if we can keep violence at a distance and convince ourselves that this happens somewhere else to somebody else, we can pretend domestic abuse isn’t as prevalent as it is. That it has nothing to do with our own lives, that it’s not our problem. And from a distance we feel safe to judge. To ask, privately in whispers among trusted friends, why didn’t she just leave? How did she get into that situation in the first place, and how could she let it get so bad? At the very least, how could she do that to her kids? Again convincing ourselves; this could never happen to me. This is what many victims of domestic violence said once, too, and likely kept saying—in some cases all the way to the grave.
Nobody wants to self-identify as a victim. Not you, not me and not them….
*** Please show your support to those in need ~ Don’t judge, just listen***
If you, or someone you know, need our help or just wants to talk, please reach out.
Important phone numbers:
Domestic Violence: 1-800-262-8444/Sexual Violence: 1-800-422-3204