Women's Issues

Take The Time To Read #WhyIStayed, Then Never Ask That Question Of A Domestic Abuse Survivor Again

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It took months, but the world finally saw a video of what happened inside the Atlantic City elevator the night Ray Rice dragged his unconscious wife Janay Palmer out of it last February. It took a video obtained by TMZ and the rage of the masses to convince the NFL to suspend Rice indefinitely after the Ravens dropped him from their roster. Let’s be clear – the NFL doesn’t give a shit about women or domestic violence. Their hand was forced. Already there is a chorus of “why did she stay with him?” erupting once again. There are always reasons – and we’ll get to that. Let’s start by remembering how little anyone cared about this until they saw this video.

Warning – it contains violence and it is horrible.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbwTMJroTbI]

The clip that surfaced after the arrest last February was the part with Rice dragging his unconscious wife out of the elevator. That wasn’t disturbing enough to force action, apparently. The NFL has since handled the situation with a gross neglect of the seriousness of domestic violence or the safety of women. Rice was punished by a two game suspension. A two game suspension for punching his wife in the face so hard she fell to the floor unconscious.

The above footage that TMZ released yesterday is footage that many in the sports world are claiming the NFL allegedly was privy to before they made their decision about Rice’s punishment:

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The NFL denies seeing the footage before yesterday. Rice and his wife were in an elevator in an Atlantic City casino. Of course there was video footage. One of the more disturbing parts of this case is that the police who arrived on the scene saw fit to arrest both Palmer and Rice and charge them both with assault. Then a scramble to cover Rice’s abusive tracks started. The Ravens blamed his wife. Of course.

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The tweet has since been deleted but I don’t think anyone can forget the press conference where both Rice and Palmer apologized. Yes, you read that right. Palmer appeared in a press conference sitting next to her abusive husband and apologized for taking a punch. That is what happens when you are in the clutch of a relationship riddled with violence and manipulation. Not only do the police not protect you, but the world blames you – first.

Masses of survivors took to Twitter last night, to show support for Janay Palmer and answer the question, “Why did she stay?” What resulted are some really powerful testaments to the strength of survivors and a window into the hell that is domestic violence. Take the time today to read #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft. And then never ask that question of a domestic abuse survivor again.

Theassault charges against Rice were dropped, by the way. So our justice system takes domestic violence even less seriously than the NFL.

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(photo: Twitter)

224 Comments

  1. whiteroses

    September 9, 2014 at 8:13 am

    I stayed because he threatened to find my beloved grandfather, who was weak and defenseless thanks to a lung collapse, and shoot him in the head. He threatened to kill every member of my family unless I did exactly what he wanted.

    I left for the same reason.

    • keelhaulrose

      September 9, 2014 at 9:28 am

      I’m so sorry that happened to you. Virtual hugs.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 9:43 am

      Weirdly enough, I’m not. Had he not threatened my grandfather, I can’t be entirely sure that the light would have gone off in my head.

      There is not a single doubt in my mind that he would have eventually killed me. In a way, my grandfather saved my life.

    • keelhaulrose

      September 9, 2014 at 10:54 am

      Can I reiterate that I love you and your strength? You are awesome.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 11:01 am

      Thank you 🙂 I appreciate it.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      September 9, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      I am so glad you were able to get out, and safely.

    • Jen TheTit Whipper

      September 10, 2014 at 8:54 am

      Totally off topic but, I think I know a group you might be interested in. Do you have a FB?

    • Véronique the Attachment Shark

      September 10, 2014 at 9:10 am

      lol you totally sound like a stalker ;). I love it.

    • Jen TheTit Whipper

      September 10, 2014 at 10:20 am

      I AM a creeper. 🙂

    • whiteroses

      September 10, 2014 at 10:37 am

      Yes, join us NTNA!

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      September 13, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      Why does Disqus have an apparent four-day waiting period before it will show notifications?!?!!? At any rate, I do have a Facebook, even if I’ll now have to wait four days to find out what I’m joining! X(

    • Kitsune

      September 9, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      I’m so glad you were able to get out safely.

  2. Kheldarson

    September 9, 2014 at 8:20 am

    I think a big part of why you get the “why’s” is because, like any mental issue, when we’re on the outside looking in we can’t interpret things the way the person involved is. We see the worth of the individual as being greater than how they view themselves. And that makes the conversation hard and frustrating on both sides.

    That said, glad he’s getting an appropriate punishment even if it was forced.

    I should also note that I’m at work with this story being discussed on the TV in the break room, and my coworkers are cracking about how “he put her in her place…on the floor” and “she married him anyway.” And that the best part is that “he beat her so hard, he made her admit she deserved it.”

    Gag.

    • sweetgotham

      September 9, 2014 at 9:03 am

      Wow…your HR sucks if this is allowed. People would get fired for this crap where I am.

    • Kheldarson

      September 9, 2014 at 9:21 am

      The main offender is leaving after tomorrow, and I really need his full time spot (we’re in the same department), so I’m not making waves.

      But yeah, our HR is kind of ineffectual.

    • biggerthanthesound

      September 9, 2014 at 9:04 am

      Gross.

    • js argh

      September 9, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      What makes me even more ragevomity is the people in comment sections of news posts saying she must be staying for the money. Ugh.

    • brebay

      September 9, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      Argh! I guess that explains why women always leave their abuser when he’s not rich or famous…

  3. js argh

    September 9, 2014 at 8:21 am

    I can’t comprehend the ignorance of people who ask why someone would stay in an abusive relationship. Have questions? Make the effort to actually learn more about domestic violence, and stop blaming victims instead.

    • libraryofbird

      September 9, 2014 at 8:50 am

      For me I can’t understand why my sister stays. Even though he has hit her, and her daughter (who was pregnant at the time). I won’t ever be able to understand that, and it does make me mad at her because it scares me. It’s not ignorance, it’s fear.

    • Hibbie

      September 9, 2014 at 10:11 am

      I recommend reading about the cycle of domestic abuse. Also something that can be hard for outsiders to understand is that there are likely threats (overt or subtle) that happen behind the scenes. It is not uncommon for an abuser to threaten loved ones of the victim if he/she tries to leave. As in, I’ll hurt your parents if you leave.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 10:14 am

      Yes. He could be threatening the family,

    • libraryofbird

      September 9, 2014 at 11:10 am

      In her case it’s mostly a self esteem issue, he “loves” her and she can’t/won’t leave that because she doesn’t think she would find love somewhere else. He has already hurt my niece, and is still serving time for that. He is on work release and my sister sees him ever chance that she gets. We as a family have tried to help, she lives with my parents, she called me bleeding & bruised and I sent money to get her & my niece out of there. Our relationship will never be as close as it once was. I hate him for breaking my sister.

    • Véronique the Attachment Shark

      September 10, 2014 at 8:34 am

      The truth is that, most likely, the more you try to convince her to leave, the more she’ll convince herself to stay. It’s called resistance. Naturally, when people debate, they will take opposite sides of an argument, even if they don’t believe it 100%. And in the process, debating the opposite side (in this case, staying with the abuser), can help solidify the person’s stance as to why they should stay. That is why, when counselling young adults in abusive relationships, I try my best to stay as neutral as possible. The decision to leave must be made by that person, and I must accompany the person in that process. If they’re not ready to leave, I work with them to see if there are other ways to protect themselves from the abuse (safety plans, support networks, information on where they can go when they are unsafe. When they make a decision to lave too fast and I feel like it’s not going to stick, I’ll even ask a lot of questions as to how they’re going to do it so that they can themselves build a plan b, c, d, etc…

      The fact that he is abusive with their daughter is disgusting. I understand that you could be angry with her for allowing this to happen. I hope that the daughter is being protected and is receiving psychological help for this…

      It’s a tough situation to be in for sure.

    • Law girl

      September 12, 2014 at 5:27 am

      Agreed. Many of the survivors I work with point out that they need to manage their personal safety and peace of mind in their own way- so if that means keeping in contact with their abuser by phone to stop their abuser turning up in person out of the blue then they will do so. Hard to understand, and can be undermining to any court case, but they need it to happen.

    • Jen TheTit Whipper

      September 9, 2014 at 10:38 am

      Threats against family, he could have broken her down so much that she thinks she deserves it, that it’s her fault, emotional and mental manipulation is a huge part of staying. We’ve seen that threats against family can be very real.

    • Lackadaisical

      September 10, 2014 at 4:35 am

      It is so very hard to understand from the outside but that is because for domestic abuse to continue rather than the victim walk out with the first hit it has to come with manipulation and emotional abuse ground work. No one would ever stay with a person who hit them if the relationship were normal and fair and the person hurt felt safe leaving, but by the time the violence starts the victim usually feels worthless and deserving of it or trapped and isolated so that there is no one to help and no way out. Abusers often, perhaps for many subconsciously, get together with people at a vulnerable point in their lives or who have previous experience of abuse that makes them think it is normal. Abuse often happens at a person’s most vulnerable times, too. For example a huge amount of abusive relationships begin to get violent when a woman is pregnant, just given birth, had a family member die, has just moved far away from her friends and family and has a joint mortgage to pay or near the beginning of a marriage when a person might feel shame and embarrassment in quitting so soon.

      Please also bear in mind that your brother in law may be working hard to isolate your sister from you, trying to convince her that you wouldn’t support her and wouldn’t understand, which is obviously blatantly untrue. Of course you would help her and wouldn’t shun her for leaving the monster, but he might be trying to convince her otherwise.

    • Véronique the Attachment Shark

      September 10, 2014 at 8:42 am

      Abuse also doesn’t happen right at the start of a relationship. The abuser first makes the person feel like the most special person in the world. The relationship seems ideal to the abused person. To the point that, when the abuse starts, the victim is so stunned that they don’t know how to react.

      Abuse starts with psychological abuse. The abuser implying that no one would put up with the victim except for him/her because he/she is worthless. The abuser constantly points to flaws and blows up. This is followed by intense honeymoon periods where everything is so powerfully wonderful that the abused lets him/herself believe that the abuse was only an exception, that it will never happen again. That their partner truly is a good person, and they could never feel the same way about anyone else

      Abusers also very often tie their victims to them financially. Lots of women feel as though they can’t leave their abusers because they won’t survive financially. Either they have a low-paying job, high debts, or they have been stay-at-home moms for a while and don’t have any skills that will make them employable. Often times, the victim will leave, only to come back because they just can’t seem to make things work financially…

      Also, victims also have an exaggerated sense that divorce would somehow be worst for the children than the abuse that is going on. They sometimes come from broken homes themselves and want to be able to give their children an intact family. They also feel as though, if her and husband were divorced and kids had to visit the father, she would not be there to protect them from him. She would prefer to stay so that she can be there to protect the kids from his anger.

      And often times, yes, the victim stays because of threats. Or because they know that if they leave, the abuser will escalate and they don’t know how dangerous that could be.

      No one can judge a victim of abuse. The psychological effects of it are so complex, take such a long time to build that you just can’t snap your fingers and make the person leave and be happy with that choice from one day to the next.

    • LotteryTicketRetirementPlan

      September 9, 2014 at 9:58 am

      It’s hard for those of us on the outside to understand though. I don’t think ignorance and victim blaming are necessarily the same. The conversation going on in this comment section is really helpful, I’ve certainly learned a few things.

    • libraryofbird

      September 9, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      For the big picture of abuse I don’t blame the victim, because I understand that in no way shape or form is it their fault. But when it comes to my sister I get so damn mad at her for not caring enough about herself and her family to leave him. It’s not rational at all and it’s not fair but she won’t save herself and cuts off the family when we try to help.

    • LotteryTicketRetirementPlan

      September 9, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      I can totally understand that- it must be hard to watch someone you love stay in an abusive relationship. I would have a hard time separating my anger at the situation from the victim as well, especially if you’ve offered to help her leave. I don’t think that’s victim blaming. But I’m starting to understand what others are saying about the psychology and fear that is going on behind the scenes, keeping the victim from leaving her abuser.

    • ted3553

      September 9, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Any time I hear a story about an abusive relationship, i ask myself why she (usually) is staying. Unless I knew the person well and we were having an open conversation, I would never ask someone that because there are all kinds of very personal reasons. I don’t think that if it’s asked the right way, that it’s the wrong question but for a complete stranger to use that question to blame the victim is completely wrong. I’ve heard a lot about how terrible this situation was yet not many asking why he abused her.

    • Newintown

      September 9, 2014 at 11:10 am

      Yes but how do you learn about it?

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 11:14 am

      Reading. Listening. Not judging.

  4. Jenni

    September 9, 2014 at 8:25 am

    I was so disappointed by this tweet last night.

    https://twitter.com/AlbertBrooks/status/509100164335042561

    He kinda made it up by actually reading #whyIstayed and donating. But still, it’s 2014. No one should be wondering (aloud!) why someone stayed.

    https://twitter.com/AlbertBrooks/status/509109968025681920

    • Maria Guido

      September 9, 2014 at 8:52 am

      Ugh.

    • MCR

      September 9, 2014 at 9:30 am

      I’m sorry if this is deemed something not to be mentioned, but I can appreciate his puzzlement. I understand fear, emotional control, lack of empowerment. That doesn’t mean it isn’t, at some level, baffling and weird to watch this video and then learn the woman on the floor went on to marry her attacker. And not at gunpoint. Who wouldn’t ponder?
      I feel the same confusion every time a man is put in prison for murder or violent assault, and immediately starts receiving love letters and marriage proposals from countless women. If one of those women got “lucky” and her proposal was accepted, and she was later brutalized, wouldn’t most of us, while not blaming the victim, find the victim’s behaviour a compelling part of the whole situation?
      I don’t advocate blaming the victim, but neither do I see it as helpful to pretend there’s nothing strange about the abuser-victim relationship in general.

    • Jill

      September 9, 2014 at 9:49 am

      I think at face value if you only ask people “If someone knocked you out, would you then marry them?” they would probably say no. The problem is these relationships build up to this point over time. This most likely wasn’t the first time (and sadly probably won’t be the last) but you can see by her comments that she believes she was at fault. Other comments on articles also appear to think she is at fault for “starting it”. Well, if she thinks she is at fault and probably thinks she is lucky that he *still* wants to marry her and so she does it then it doesn’t seem as crazy.

    • MCR

      September 9, 2014 at 9:58 am

      That kind of scenario makes more sense. I can see almost anyone getting caught up in a relationship that gradually turns abusive.
      What’s harder to understand is the “volunteer” victims, like the ones I mentioned who write love letters to convicted murderers. There was no build up, nothing the murderer did to coerce them to try and establish a relationship with a violent criminal.
      I remember, some years back, a professional athlete being convicted of beating his girlfriend half to death. A radio show polled female listeners: call in and tell us, would you date N____ if he asked you? Almost every caller said yes. Maybe worth mentioning that the few callers who said they would not because the man was violent and dangerous, were mocked by the radio show hosts. Both sides seemed to agree that dating/marrying someone wealthy and famous more than made up for the risk of an occasional beat down.
      My point is, there are attitudes that contribute to this, and it influences potential victims as well as abusers.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 10:08 am

      I blame the culture of celebrity, personally. Some people want to be known by any means necessary.

    • alexesq33

      September 9, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      I truly pity her then, because his *celebrity* life, and $, is over. If he was bad before, that would really push him over the edge I hope she has support to get out now…

    • MCR

      September 10, 2014 at 9:25 am

      That could be very significant. Celebrity, in the present day view, seems to trump almost anything.

    • whiteroses

      September 10, 2014 at 10:06 am

      Oh, I think it’s absolutely significant. In this day and age when our every thought can be blasted across the globe, it’s harder to truly get noticed, so fame means more than it used to, IMO.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 9:54 am

      In my case, he didn’t start out by punching me in the face. He built up to it, and by that point I hardly knew what was happening or how I had got there. It’s a combination of emotional, mental, and physical abuse, and it’s subtle. These men and women are clever, they give not two shits about the people they’re hurting, and they want to strike out at someone they perceive as weak.

      Add to that the idea that a woman can fix or change a man, and that may come close to explaining it.

    • MCR

      September 9, 2014 at 9:59 am

      It certainly helps.

    • Courtney Lynn

      September 9, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      This, exactly. It’s insidious. They groom you for it. This is someone who, as far as you know, loves you. Why would they want anything but the best for you? My ex started with small, personal, verbal attacks that he said were “jokes”. I have a sense of humor right? He’s just mentally ill (bipolar) and awkward, that’s all. Shrug it off. Once you’ve swallowed that, they build up to the bigger stuff. Ignoring you for days over a messed up lunch order, name-calling, shoving, arm-punching, rape. You get the idea.

    • Hibbie

      September 9, 2014 at 10:17 am

      I think it’s pretty common for victims who leave to ask themselves that same question later. Why did I stay? I don’t sense judgment from this common. The cycle of abuse and reasons for staying are complex and difficult to understand, even when you are living through them!

    • brebay

      September 9, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      This is so aggravating. They should at the very least be honest and say “If she still married him, he must not be that bad,” and not use the words “I don’t understand” as if they’re waiting for someone to “teach” them what the reasons are. You don’t want to learn, Albert, you just want to embrace your ignorance. Own it.

  5. Cindy Ailey

    September 9, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Gaslighting – this is a concept that almost no one understands. They don’t get that physical abuse usually comes with mental and emotional manipulation. People who’ve never been in a situation like have no idea how it works.

    • sweetgotham

      September 9, 2014 at 8:59 am

      It’s not used in physically abusive relationships. My ex used it to cover his affair, making me think I was crazy, jealous, that something was wrong with me and that I was the only one seeing these negative things in our relationship. Went so far as make me feel so mentally ill that I dealt with suicidal idolization for 6 months including a 24 hour stay in the hospital for risk of self harm. My therapist first told me about ‘gaslighting’ and the play it’s based off but I was in no place to see where I was. Then I found out he was having an affair and shit to worse. The 2nd hospital stay was for an actual suicide attempt from which to started to rebuild my life and realize what he had been doing to me. So even with out the actual thread of physical violence, this kind of manipulation can have deadly consequence; I really did think, at the time, something was wrong with me, that I should be on medication (he worked in pharmaceuticals)- something I, thankfully, knew wasn’t the case but still I struggled. All so he could fuck some girl behind my back while not feeling like he was doing anything wrong. Years later I finally watched the movie based on the play and it was painful but powerful. I recommend it to anyone wanting to see how ‘gaslighting’ can work.

    • sweetgotham

      September 9, 2014 at 9:05 am

      I mean- not used JUST in physically abusive relationships. Let’s just assume I didn’t write this with the clearest head; it’s a painful time in my life 🙁

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    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 9:41 am

      Emotional abuse is just as damaging and physical. And it should be dealt with accordingly.

    • Guest

      September 9, 2014 at 9:59 am

      What’s the movie/play?

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 9:59 am

      “Gaslight”. Very interesting.

    • janey

      September 9, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      The movie was just on TCM last week.

    • Lackadaisical

      September 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Sorry you had to go through that. Thank you for sharing what must have been an emotionally painful time. The more people like you speak up about the mind games that make a person stay in an emotionally abusive relationship, the more other people might realise they need to support rather than blame the people in them and the more victims realise how bad things have got and that they are worth more than the manipulative monster claims they are and deserve to leave and be free.

    • arielmarie

      September 9, 2014 at 10:00 am

      Wow. Thanks for teaching me that term. I’m not sure how I haven’t heard that before but I’m sitting here crying right now realizing, to some extent, that is what I’ve been going through in my relationship. No physical abuse, but emotional manipulation.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 10:02 am

      Not to give you a ton of advice, but…you’re better than that. Nobody deserves to have their mind screwed with. You will meet someone who will love you the way you deserve, but not if you stay in a toxic situation.

      Good luck. You can do this.

    • arielmarie

      September 9, 2014 at 10:05 am

      Thank you. We have actually broken up 2 weeks ago, however he is currently refusing to move out 🙁 And I don’t really know what do next, because even though we’re broken up, he is still making me feel awful. And now he has more license to do whatever he wants because “I broke up with him.”

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 10:09 am

      Is the house in your name? If so, you may be able to force him out legally.

    • arielmarie

      September 9, 2014 at 10:10 am

      We’re both on the lease 🙁 We had agreed before we moved in that if something happened he would move out because I can afford it on my own where he can’t. Now he’s dragging his feet. And I know it’s because he hopes I forget and get back together.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Is it possible for you to move out and get your name off the lease?

    • arielmarie

      September 9, 2014 at 10:12 am

      Possibly. I was giving him one more week to be seriously looking for a new place to call my landlord and see what can be done. I’ve lived in other places with the same landlord so I know him fairly well and know that he will side with me.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 10:13 am

      Excellent. Though if it were me, I wouldn’t give him that much time. In the meantime, do you have a friend who can stay with you?

    • arielmarie

      September 9, 2014 at 10:15 am

      After this mornings incident (ironically right before I read this article), I’m going to go stay at a friends until he moves out. She has graciously offered it to me a million times but I’m ready to take her up on it. Thank you for your kind words!

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 10:17 am

      No problem. Just make sure you take everything with you that means anything to you.

      I am here if you need support- and sending you a ton of virtual hugs. You are brave! You got this!

    • EX

      September 9, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      Best of luck to you. A lot of has have been there. Getting out is hard but it gets better. Stay safe and lean on your friends.

    • Rachel Sea

      September 9, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      Good for you! If you can, try to get a few friends together to help you strip the place of all your stuff in one fell swoop when he’s out. The cleaner the break, the better.

    • Cindy Ailey

      September 9, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      Good luck! Be strong and remember that YOU ARE NOT CRAZY. It’s not your fault. If you have friends and family willing to help you, you can and will land on your feet.

    • brebay

      September 9, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      If you’re both on the lease, it’s not up to the landlord, he still has a right to be there. The landlord will have to actually have him formally evicted, during which time, the danger to you will be greatest. If your landlord is with you, see if you can stay someplace else until he is evicted (and the locks changed) but you might just be safer cutting your losses and finding a new place yourself.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      September 9, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      Which, if she does leave and he doesn’t have the money to pay rent himself, getting him evicted shouldn’t be a problem…

    • Jen TheTit Whipper

      September 9, 2014 at 10:35 am

      Go talk to your landlord, see if you can get your name off the lease and give him your move out date. Don’t tell your ex. You need to take care of you.

    • Lackadaisical

      September 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      How long is on your lease? You really can’t stay there under those circumstances. You deserve to feel safe in your own home

    • Véronique the Attachment Shark

      September 10, 2014 at 8:48 am

      my sister’s ex did that. My dad and step dad (who are both very tall and built) had to show up, start packing his stuff and tell him point blank that he had to get out. now. thank god he’s a coward and left right then and there. but he did leave with the nice furniture and left my sister with the bills associated with said furniture.

    • Véronique the Attachment Shark

      September 10, 2014 at 8:50 am

      My sister gladly chose the bills over the man though ;). I hope things work out for you so that you stay safe.

    • biggerthanthesound

      September 9, 2014 at 10:32 am

      I have been out of that type of relationship for about a year and officially divorced for about six months. I’m here to tell you that I am living a life now I never knew could exist for me. You can do all those things now. XOXOXOXO

    • Lackadaisical

      September 9, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      Emotional abuse is still abuse and you are worth more than any toxic person manipulates you into believing.

      This is part of the abuse campaign that has been running in the UK to help people realise that emotional abuse is still abuse and shouldn’t be suffered. If it rings true, perhaps it is time to think of what you want and what makes you happy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecNSmRJfYAs

    • Courtney Lynn

      September 9, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      This. All day. My mom has perfected the art.

  6. Alicia

    September 9, 2014 at 8:40 am

    To be fair, they weren’t married when this happened. They were still engaged.

    I understand intellectually that being in this type of relationship, it seems impossible to get out. That in some cases, it seems normal, or the best that a woman deserves.

    It makes me so mad when women and children are beaten by those they love, who supposedly love them. This isn’t love.

    I was in a relationship in my teens that would be considered abusive. He never actually struck me. The man (he was over 18, I was not) tried to control every aspect of my life, down to the clothes that I wore. I was still in high school, living with my parents. My dad adored him. He kicked my dog, my dad adored him. He tried to punch me in the face, and I ducked. He broke his hand on the brick post on our porch. My dad adored him still. It took my best friend’s mom telling me this wasn’t okay for me to end things. This man started stalking me. The police could do nothing because he never threatened me. He stopped stalking me when he went to jail for armed robbery. My dad stopped adoring him. The reason I keep mentioning my dad, is because he would go to my dad to have Dad intercede on his behalf. For awhile, I believed if my dad trusted this guy, so should I.

    Sometimes, all that’s needed is support. Support that that little voice in the back of your head is right, you aren’t crazy, this isn’t right.

    I hope she has some support now. Because she obviously didn’t then.

  7. housekeeper

    September 9, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Some people are born victims.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 9:39 am

      And may I suggest, on behalf of all men and women everywhere who have suffered and are still suffering through domestic violence, that you take a flying leap off a suspended bridge while doing something physically impossible to yourself.

    • Courtney Lynn

      September 9, 2014 at 10:22 am

      Oh, what a fucking load.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      September 9, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      I’m gonna pretend you’re not a troll and that you meant to say that abusers tend to prey on the disadvantaged, those who have been convinced by their families or by circumstance that they don’t have any better options. Because otherwise my head is going to explode.

    • alexesq33

      September 9, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      troll is troll
      disgusting.

    • Lackadaisical

      September 10, 2014 at 6:17 am

      In the sense that an abusive parent victimises them from the day they are born? Sometimes, sadly, yes. In the sense that some people are just inately victims and attract abuse with their attitude? No, utterly not. It is a judgey attitude of “born victim” from those around them that can sometimes keep a person emotionally trapped and accepting abuse as their destiny rather than seeing it as an unacceptable thing that they were unfortunate to experience and ought to be a reason to leave.

  8. Bleu Cheese Bewbs

    September 9, 2014 at 8:43 am

    I doubt that anyone would be defending this jack ass if Janay Palmer was someone they knew. It’s too easy to let hero worship get out of control when the victim is someone unknown to you. It’s fucking disgusting to me that anyone, ANYONE, can watch this video and then somehow place blame on the victim.

    • Shadow

      September 9, 2014 at 11:19 am

      He could have also killed her, is what I with people would realize. Head injuries are no joke.

    • brebay

      September 9, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      Yes! Even being knocked out is a brain injury.

    • Rose White

      September 9, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      When I first saw that video, all I could think was how “lucky” they both were that she did not die. That was a very powerful punch.

  9. Jessifer

    September 9, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Even more rage-inducing to me were the comments about how the whole thing being “tit-for-tat” because she also hit him. Are you effing kidding me? Is a petite woman giving someone a shove, equal to a +200lbs, +6 feet tall athlete punching her lights out so hard that her face hits the railing and knocks her out cold? And afterwards, he has the audacity to crouch there beside her rubbing her back while she regains consciousness, like he’s so concerned about her? It don’t know how any sane person could look at that and think that she had it coming. It makes me want to vomit.

    • Anonymous

      September 9, 2014 at 9:22 am

      I actually have a really hard time with this. I don’t think that she IN ANY WAY deserved this, or that the fact that she was hitting him should, IN ANY WAY, make us more lenient towards him. But I also know that (speaking generally here) domestic violence can and does go both ways, and I think it’s possible for both halves of a couple to contribute to an atmosphere where disputes are solved with physical violence. And I think it’s a dangerous to start saying “well, he’s bigger, so she can hit him but he can’t hit her” (although the power discrepancy in this situation is so huge that it’s impossible to NOT think that), because who gets to judge when a woman is “big” enough or a man is “small” enough that female on male physical violence is an issue? I’m sure I’ll get accused of victim blaming, but really that’s not how I see it – I think what he did is unforgivable and that he deserves everything he’s getting and more. It’s 100% not her fault. And maybe this isn’t even the best case to bring it up on, since he so clearly overpowers her in every possible way. But I do think that relationship violence is an issue that needs to be discussed more often, and female on male violence shouldn’t be dismissed so lightly.

    • Bleu Cheese Bewbs

      September 9, 2014 at 9:33 am

      I don’t believe anyone said that she should be able to hit him and he shouldn’t hit her back. Domestic violence is wrong. End of story. There is no grey area here.

    • Jessifer

      September 9, 2014 at 9:57 am

      Anyone who resorts to physical violence against their partner, whether it’s male or female, or whether it’s a just a push or a shove, is clearly wrong. If you are that angry that you feel you need to hit your partner, then just walk away and cool down first, rather than escalate it (and that goes for both sides). I mean, that’s how we teach our children to deal with their emotions. HOWEVER, two wrongs don’t make a right. I think it’s pretty callous to see this unconscious woman being dragged facedown on the floor like she’s some sort of corpse and dismiss it as “Oh well, she shouldn’t have hit him!”

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 9:59 am

      I agree. It simplifies a complicated situation. She may have hit him, but he beat the living shit out of her.

    • Anonymous

      September 9, 2014 at 10:23 am

      Two wrongs don’t make a right is pretty much what I was trying to say, and I hope I made it clear that I wasn’t defending him! And I agree that there’s no room for victim blaming here. I don’t want to say that his response was totally out of proportion to the situation, because that implies that there would have been a physical response that WAS in proportion to the situation, but…. his response was totally out of proportion to the situation, even if she was hitting him.

    • Jessifer

      September 9, 2014 at 11:01 am

      I do understand what you were trying to get at, which is that there are cases of men suffering from domestic abuse at the hands of their female partner (and these men DON’T retaliate) and it is not taken seriously because the attitude is that they’re the “man” so they should be able to just “take it”. So in this case, I do agree that it’s a social ill that needs to be properly understood and addressed.

    • Hibbie

      September 9, 2014 at 10:14 am

      A knockout punch is quite different than holding her arm so she can’t keep hitting him. What he did went WAY beyond self defense.

    • brebay

      September 9, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      That’s exactly it. He could have held her, then took off when the doors opened. We all know he can run faster than her. If she would have had bruising on her arms from being grabbed, maybe he’d have a point, but she was NOT a danger to his very life that he could only have stopped by knocking her unconscious.

    • Foleygirl24

      September 9, 2014 at 10:17 am

      Here’s the thing people are missing. That video has no sound. We don’t know what he may have said to her. Abusers often use simple phrases or gestures, or a look, with their victims that sort of “signal” that violence/abuse is about to happen. That’s why it’s so easy for an abuser to intimidate his victim even in a public setting, at court, etc. It could very well be that something like this happened in the elevator and she acted proactively, in an attempt at self-defense. The point is, we just don’t know. Saying “well she started it” is incomplete, because we don’t know all of the circumstances at play here.

    • guest

      September 10, 2014 at 7:03 am

      And even if she did “start it,” he doesn’t have carte blanche to
      ‘open fire’ with his fists. One of her hands was still holing on to her clutch, and the other was open-palm. If Driver A cuts off driver B on the highway and flips him the bird, and Driver B then forces Driver A off the road, pulls a gun and shoots her, no one cares about the fact that Driver A cut the lane. When the reaction is so incredibly out of proportion with the first offense, people don’t talk about the first offense…except in domestic violence.

    • Katja Yount

      September 10, 2014 at 10:14 am

      It happens in a flash but it appears that right before she slapped him he spits on her. Obviously there were some issues happening before they got on the elevator but yeah…

    • brebay

      September 9, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      I agree, Jessifer. You don’t bring a gun to a slap-fight, an you don’t bring NFL-player upper-body power to being hit by a woman. No, no one should hit anyone, but being slapped does NOT mean you get to knock someone out cold. We’ve seen the guy run, he had options. Okay, it was an elevator. We’re to believe he couldn’t have put her in a bear-hug and then took off when the doors opened? Bullshit.

    • Jen TheTit Whipper

      September 10, 2014 at 8:57 am

      I believe something similar happened with Solange and Jay Z. Yes he had a body guard to restrain her, but his movements showed him only putting his hands up to stop her from kicking him. He made no moves toward her. I suspect without a body guard (based only on his response in the video) he would likely have bear hugged her until she calmed down. I know it’s not quite the same thing, but proof that a man can be hit by a woman and not retaliate, certainly not with a knockout punch.

    • Alanna Jorgensen

      September 9, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      I was trying to explain this to someone yesterday. Yes, in my opinion it was wrong for her to hit him as well, but him punching her like that would be like me punching my 5 year old for swatting me because she was angry. The two actions are not equal because as the video shows his strength is devastating compared to hers. I don’t think either party should hit the other, but he had to be aware of what his punch could do to her before he threw it.

  10. LK

    September 9, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Yeah this is one of those “red alert DO NOT read the comment sections, because they display they absolute worst ignorance of humanity, and make it SUPER clear as to why domestic violence is still such an issue” stories. I just can’t get passed how this is just happening now. Seeing her actually punched IS awful, but the first video released of him dragging her body out of the elevator and scooting it around with his feet like garbage was sufficiently horrifying for me.

  11. Jen TheTit Whipper

    September 9, 2014 at 8:49 am

    I didn’t stay. But it was very early in our relationship. I’m not sure if he had waited I would have walked away as easily. Also, she was unconscious. I didn’t need to video to know he hit her…hard. Shame on the Ravens and the NFL for requiring video proof.

    • Bleu Cheese Bewbs

      September 9, 2014 at 8:50 am

      Exactly. Why did they think she was unconscious? THe police wouldn’t have been called if she passed out from a health issue, on her own. The NFL reminds me, over and over again, how glad I am that they don’t get any of my money.

    • Jen TheTit Whipper

      September 9, 2014 at 9:06 am

      I don’t think they didn’t see the video, but either way. I’d rather watch a guy who smokes pot in his downtime play football than a woman beater, or a guy who orchestrated a murder.

    • Bleu Cheese Bewbs

      September 9, 2014 at 9:08 am

      Oh, there’s no way they didn’t see the video. If they saw the first part, where he dragged her out of the elevator, they had to have seen the second part – it’s the same video. I doubt the cops edited it to only give them the second part of the video.

    • Jen TheTit Whipper

      September 9, 2014 at 9:42 am

      I can absolutely see someone saying just show me the end so I can say I didn’t see the whole video.

    • alexesq33

      September 9, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Plus TMZ (I know I know but the guy IS a lawyer) Harvey Levin says they had had knowledge of the whole video prior to the sanction they imposed initially so FUCK THEM THE FUCKING FUCKS. (sorry for outburst 🙂 )

    • Jen TheTit Whipper

      September 10, 2014 at 10:45 am

      It’s clear now that Goodell purposefully didn’t access the video (or that’s what he is saying). So he knew it was going to be bad, didn’t want to deal with it. They suspend someone for pot, when they didn’t get their info from cops. But they aren’t willing to suspend someone who was dragging an unconscious person behind them without video from the cops. It’s time Goodell moved on.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      September 9, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      The regulations are so. Fucked. Up. Rice initially only got a two-game suspension, and yet Wes Welker, my team’s best receiver, gets a four-game suspension for drug use DURING THE OFFSEASON. Meanwhile his buddy Tom Brady, who was present and probably just as guilty, gets off with a shrug because the NFL is probably terrified that Pats fans would rise up as one and burn them to the ground if they dared touch their beloved QB.

      I also heard during last night’s games that another player (can’t remember who) got suspended because he tested positive for a drug that he apparently had to take so he and his wife could have a baby. Yep. I love the game, but I hate the NFL.

    • Jen TheTit Whipper

      September 9, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      There is nothing about it that makes sense. Seriously let ’em smoke a damn joint. Unless they are taking performance enhancers or something that makes a player violent (never seen pot on it’s own make someone violent) move on. Meanwhile Lewis gets a statute and Rice knocks his wife out and it takes public outcry to make it right? The Bengals keeping Still on practice squad helps ease some of the asshole from NFL but not enough.

    • NotTakenNotAvailableWTFDisqus

      September 9, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      But donchaknow that violent crime is way up in Colorado ever since recreational pot went on sale?!?

      Oh, sorry, totally misread that. Crime is way down. Nevermind! X(

    • Foreskin Magpie

      September 9, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Yeah, it’s a Colts linebacker…Mathis. Apparently it’s because Clomid is “performance enhancing,” they seem unable to distinguish steroids from something meant to enhance your SPERM’S performance. So glad they’re taking a firm stance on that on though! 9_6

    • NotTakenNotAvailableWTFDisqus

      September 9, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      I’m not surprised that the NFL hates babies.

    • alexesq33

      September 9, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Nope they saw the video initially. They know what he did. They didn’t take proper action until THE REST OF THE WORLD saw the video. RAGE STROKE ***

  12. Courtney Lynn

    September 9, 2014 at 8:50 am

    People who ask why they stay do not understand domestic abuse at all. People who tell you that your current partner is not your ex and ask why you still cower 6 years later with someone who isn’t abusive (like my situation) don’t get it, either. I’m just glad my husband gets it.

  13. MCR

    September 9, 2014 at 9:39 am

    One thing that annoys me a little is the emphasis on the NFL’s reaction. This is a man beating up a woman, not the *completely different* situation of pro football player beating up a woman. People are treating a professional sports association as if it were the justice system. There seems to be more attention given to what kind of suspension Rice got and how professional football dealt with this, than with what legal action was taken. This is an organization that is focused on professional football, not the law, and which makes money from the player in question. We shouldn’t really expect much from them, or be looking to them for justice. The NFL, in my opinion, should be considered relevant only to the extent that they interfered with legal action, pressured the victim, or withheld evidence.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 9:41 am

      Or the fact that they forced her to apologize.

      It contributes to the culture. Jmo.

    • MCR

      September 9, 2014 at 9:42 am

      I wasn’t clear on whether the NFL pushed for her apology or not, but I assumed it was the case. If so, I’d like to see them held accountable for that.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 9:44 am

      And there’s this idea that you can do whatever you want as long as you have enough money. The NFL failed on this one. They aren’t the justice system. But they could have hit this guy where it hurt- his wallet- and they didn’t do that until people called them on it.

    • blh

      September 9, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      How can the NFL FORCE anyone to apologize?

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      Threatening them with legal action and/or smearing their reputation for a start.

    • brebay

      September 9, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Uh, $.

    • Jen TheTit Whipper

      September 10, 2014 at 10:50 am

      Or the guy who beat the piss out of her is sitting right next to her might be a good reason she does what she is told?

    • Foreskin Magpie

      September 9, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      One thing that annoys ME is the way the NFL keeps trying to convince America that it’s a wholesome, family-oriented organization just trying to have fun and play some football! Nope. People in the public eye need to be held accountable (everyone else does too, but in this case I’m talking about losing your job, being fined, etc) because they help to set the bar in the first place. Children have their posters on their bedroom walls, fans idolize them, their vile behavior (and complete lack of consequences) contributes to rape culture and normalizes abuse of all kinds…by brushing off their behavior/continuing to support the league we are telling them that we don’t care. A girl (hopefully) doesn’t hear her dad okaying a next door neighbor’s domestic abuse, but she does see him cheer Ben Roethlisberger on.

      The NFL is corrupt and full of rapists, murderers, men who perpetuate domestic violence, run dog fighting rings and commit absolutely BRUTAL acts of violence on animals–it’s all fine (but you better not be gay!). What kind of message does it send to the general public that these men get caught, still play ball and still make a shitload of money? How hard would it be for them to come together and say, “This is wrong, this is disgusting and we won’t stand for it”? Sure, they don’t have to…but it’s the right thing to do. So many people boycott Walmart and Chick-fil-a, but I guess football is just too entertaining.

    • MCR

      September 10, 2014 at 9:15 am

      You certainly have a point. You could argue that an employer (like the NFL) isn’t responsible for punishing employees who break the law, but the NFL is not taking a hands-off approach, they’re actively covering up and supporting men like Rice.

  14. Airbones

    September 9, 2014 at 9:57 am

    I hope she was in a safe place and away from him when this all hit the media over the past few days.

    • sweetgotham

      September 9, 2014 at 10:14 am

      She is blaming the media for disrupting their perfect love or something like that. I wish I was kidding.

      http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/ray-rice-wife-life-horrible-nightmare-article-1.1933191

    • Hibbie

      September 9, 2014 at 10:26 am

      She’s probably pacifying her abuser by saying that.

    • MCR

      September 9, 2014 at 10:28 am

      One would like to assume so, but I’ve heard of many abused women who feel the same way. She’s not angry at the man who beat her, she’s angry at the people who are making a fuss about his beating her and throwing cold water on their lovely relationship. It’s sad.

    • Hibbie

      September 9, 2014 at 10:34 am

      Well, what is anger at an abuser going to get you? Can you express that anger without repercussions? Pacification doesn’t have to be a planned, conscious act. There’s a reason that many abuse victims follow the same script, so to speak. And, yes, it is sad and heartbreaking. I just don’t find it helpful or necessary to critique a victim’s response to abuse.

    • MCR

      September 9, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      I disagree with your last sentence. I think it could be extremely helpful – not if it’s done in order to shift blame onto the victim, but in order to understand the state of mind of someone in that position. Sometimes it’s as simple as a victim placating the abuser because the situation seems inescapable, but in some cases it appears much more complicated, as when the victim loves and defends her abuser even when safety is available to her.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      Trust me, though, it isn’t helpful at all. Victims need support, not critiques, no matter how they’re meant.

    • MCR

      September 10, 2014 at 9:19 am

      But if victims of domestic violence hadn’t been examined and critiqued in the past, we’d still be assuming they stay because they’re happy where they are. We only understand how they can be controlled because some sociologist or whatever looked into their behaviour.

    • whiteroses

      September 10, 2014 at 10:01 am

      True. But I think there needs to be a limit to critiquing, if that makes any sense.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 11:03 am

      Anger at my abuser would have landed me in the hospital. It was far easier to be angry at people I knew wouldn’t hurt me. In a way, it was a call for help.

    • Rowan

      September 9, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      Because he’s not just smacking her around – he’s done such a number on her self esteem that she’s convinced this is as good as she deserves. She thinks “who else would stay with an ugly / crazy / useless thing like me?” because he’s told her she’s lucky to have him, that nobody will ever love her the way he does. He says he loves her and the only reason he hits her is because she makes him angry and then he feels SO AWFUL that she made him do that. And because most abusers isolate their victims, no one else is telling her that she’s beautiful, kind, good, smart, worthwhile.

    • kdsue

      September 9, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      It’s also quite possible that she came from an environment as a child where this was the norm. If she grew up with it, she likely doesn’t realize that it’s possible to have a relationship without this kind of power disparity.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      Or it’s possible he’s just a jackass. Personally, I’m going for that option.

  15. allisonjayne

    September 9, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Oh man, that tweet from KathleenLyons…wow.

  16. Foleygirl24

    September 9, 2014 at 10:08 am

    One thing I learned from working for survivors of domestic abuse (in a legal setting) is that these women are the best predictors of their own safety. I know that seems counter-intuitive, but there are definitely a lot of instances where it would be MORE dangerous for them to leave their abuser than to stay. It is easy for us to look at the relationship from the outside and tell that woman to leave, but it’s not so easy when it’s happening to you. No one knows better than her whether leaving (at that time) would put her in more danger than staying. A lot of these people are extremely disturbed in addition to being abusive, and the woman leaving sometimes escalates the violence even more. In these situations, it takes a lot of planning, support, and resources for the woman to be able to leave the relationship safely… and unfortunately there are many who don’t have these things (because abusers often isolate them), and are thus often unable to safely leave even if they want to.

    • Hibbie

      September 9, 2014 at 10:20 am

      Thanks for bringing this up and for the work you do. There are so many insidious aspects of domestic violence.

    • brebay

      September 9, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      It almost always escalates the violence. I do believe she probably has more resources than most women in her situation, plus he’s in the spotlight, so people are watching him, but yes, statistically, leaving is the time a woman is most likely to be killed, which, of course isn’t a good reason to stay, but just to get your ducks in a row. Where the hell are the NFL wives that are supposed to be such a huge support to one another? Not one guy in the NFL who has a vacation home someplace can help this lady out? This makes me so mad. Anyone can reconcile a crazy asshole acting like an asshole, but when all the “good people” stay silent, that’s when you really start to believe you’re worthless.

    • Courtney Lynn

      September 9, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      The level of danger increases greatly once she leaves. I know, I had to hide out for nearly a month.

  17. Hibbie

    September 9, 2014 at 10:19 am

    I’m so mad about how people in my day-to-day life are reacting to this story. Someone even called her an idiot for standing by his side at the press conference. SO MAD! I don’t even know what to say to that. He’s the idiot, she’s a victim under who knows what kind of pressure.

  18. LiteBrite(UterineDudebro)

    September 9, 2014 at 10:50 am

    A lot of people don’t realize how much abuse, whether physical or verbal, just fucking wears you down. It makes you depressed and lethargic. You begin to firmly believe that you are worth nothing, that you’re stupid, and in many cases that you deserve the shit being thrown your way.

    Abusers are also emotionally manipulative. They can turn from being hateful, abusive assholes to being sweet and loving in a matter of seconds. They threaten the victim’s family (see Whiteroses’ comment), and in many cases they spent so much time isolating the victim from family and friends that the victim feels as though they have nowhere to turn.

    I’m not going to get into the details of my own experience with an emotionally abusive ex, but I will say that I stayed for many of the reasons above (except for threatening my family, which he never did) and despite many of my friends and family saying “Why the hell are you still with him?” So many people make it seem like it’s just as simple as walking away, but it’s not.

    • brebay

      September 9, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      Yes, this reminds me of the case just this summer in Utah, where the abusive husband killed the SIL, BIL, and 6 of their 7 kids when they wouldn’t tell him where his wife was.

  19. Guinevere

    September 9, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Now, I was a person with a full-time job, a vehicle, a super swanky education behind me, and I still stayed 6 months longer than I should have. I couldn’t find anyone to help me move. I couldn’t afford to move. He was threatening to kill me (flaunting firearms for dramatic effect). Coworkers agreed to help me move, if the cops were present. The cops wouldn’t come. No one would rent to a single lady who was breaking a lease and had a sketchy employment history….etc., etc., etc.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      September 9, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      I’m glad you finally got out, but what the hell are the cops getting paid for?!

    • Guinevere

      September 9, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      well, I guess they used to help a woman get her belongings, like, ensure her safety while she did so. Just be a presence. They don’t do that anymore, even with firearms involved. You have to have the proper documentation first. I had the personal protective order, but not on my person. My bad, I guess.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      September 9, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      What. The. Fuck.

      Brb, rage stroke.

    • Guinevere

      September 9, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      I swear I would have had it on my person if I had been able to gather my belongings 😉 catch 22 and all

    • Maria Guido

      September 9, 2014 at 8:45 pm

      I’m sorry 🙁

    • Guinevere

      September 10, 2014 at 10:02 am

      Thank you, Maria 🙂

  20. blh

    September 9, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I’ve been in terrible relationships and I know why people stay, but nobody can help you until you help yourself.
    The justice system is a joke. Restraining orders are worthless. But how many times does they victim refuse to press charges? When the cops arrested my ex the cop looked at me and kind of rolled his eyes and said “So are you just going to come bail him out right away?” (I didn’t). But you can’t really help someone until they decide they’ve had enough. There’s no getting through to them either, it has t be there decision.

    • brebay

      September 9, 2014 at 3:05 pm

      I can tell you from experience that in 99 out if a hundred cases, the woman refuses to cooperate and begs to have the charges dropped. An this is AFTER she knows her options, and while he’s still in jail…it makes me crazy. What it does to victims makes them completely lost. The cops ask that because it. always. happens.

    • brebay

      September 9, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      As a side note, I have a great deal of sympathy for these victims right up until the point their kids are affected by it. At some point, you have to love your child more than you hate yourself.

    • Kelly

      September 10, 2014 at 10:32 am

      I don’t think it’s an issue of hating yourself or loving your child. It’s way, way, way more complicated than that.

    • brebay

      September 11, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      Psychologically it is, but legally it isn’t. It falls under the definition of abuse because it is that damaging to kids. Kids are taken into foster care all the time for bringing kids back into a situation where they witness abuse. When they refuse offers of housing, money, utilities, food aid, etc. And children are repeatedly exposed to it, it is grounds for removal of the children.

    • Kelly

      September 12, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      I agree that kids shouldn’t be a part of this–that would be a line for me. I would never, ever give someone who hurt my child another chance.

      That being said, I think to set up the scenario of “love your kid more than you hate yourself” is teetering right on the edge of victim-blaming for me…I don’t love that phrasing.

    • brebay

      September 12, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      Yeah, I dig. I probs should have criticized the act of exposing them to it, rather than framed it as a “not loving them enough” issue.

    • brebay

      September 9, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      Also restraining orders aren’t designed to and won’t prevent someone from coming after you if they really want to. It’s like a triage. Abusers come in three groups: Those who will not kill you with or without a restraining order, those who will kill you with or without a restraining order, and the third group: Those who would not pre-plan a killing, but would go over to try to “make up” like he has a hundred times before, become enraged when he realizes she finally means it, and end up killing in a fit if rage. For some in this group, jail is enough of a deterrent to keep them away long enough for you to get away, or for him to be prosecuted, or to move on to his next victim. It is this situation that a restraining order helps. Also, the Supreme Court has decided that enforcing a restraining order falls under “discretionary” functions and is not required, which is a fucking disaster, but local departments can only work within what they have.

    • kdsue

      September 9, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      Some communities have adopted the “Duluth Model” for dealing with domestic violence. When law enforcement arrives, they immediately separate the people, ask what happened, etc. If there is any evidence of a domestic assault (including “just” the victim’s word for it) the person (usually the male, but not always) is arrested regardless of the wishes of the victim. Information is provided to the victim for contacting domestic violence advocates, support services, etc. I believe the information is automatically provided to the support services so they can contact the victims directly to determine whether immediate assistance is necessary. Again, putting on the victim to seek out help is rarely useful. Police reports are forwarded to the local prosecutor to determine whether charges will be filed. Again, not up to the victim whether criminal consequences are pursued. The victims often need to be subpoenaed to testify. Sometimes they show up and sometimes they don’t. Not a perfect system, but significantly better than asking a physically abused person whether they want to press charges with their abuser standing right next to them.

  21. brebay

    September 9, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    She has every right inthe world to stay, (but not to force her children to stay in a home where they have to watch their mother get beaten, should any children be unlucky enough to be born into this mess). HOWEVER, what SHE doesn’t understand, is that this is everyone’s business. Criminal acts are acts against society, that’s why it’s “State versus Smith,” etc. If she never wants to sue him civilly, fine. But all of us have a vested interest in seeing people prosecuted and penalized for their crimes. She does not get to silence everyone else because it’s “her business.” This man is a danger to society, and every time one person gets away with this, it makes things a little more dangerous for us all, and we all get to speak to it because it’s a criminal act against the state, of which (at least the people of Maryland) are stakeholders. I know why women stay, I hear it every day, but it’s not victim-blaming to keep HIS name out there and keep demanding justice. The woman he eventually kills may not be Janay. That’s what she needs to get. What she chooses to do from there is up to her, but no one owes her not talking about it.

    • Rose White

      September 9, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      The whole thing about how it is a “private matter” and “no one’s business” is exactly how domestic violence became so commonplace to begin with.

    • LadyGwyn12

      September 10, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      They have a young daughter. She can’t be school age yet. 🙁

    • brebay

      September 11, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      Oh, great! Anyone not famous would risk losing their kid for bringing them back to an abusive relationship, but money talks…

  22. Jem

    September 9, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Why do people always ask “why does she stay?” Instead of asking “why did he knock out his wife?”

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Because the first question is one that doesn’t require nearly as much introspection. And it neatly places the blame on the person being abused, so they get to keep their great football hero.

    • Rose White

      September 9, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Personally I see nothing illogical about asking both questions. I firmly believe that women like her were simply raised to think that domestic violence is normal. Girls should be educated from a very young age about domestic violence and the patterns involved. Boys need to be taught the same thing.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      It’s got nothing to do with “women like her”, which is quite frankly an incredibly insulting statement. My father never hit my mother once or treated her with anything less than the utmost respect. I still got the shit kicked out of me. It’s not about her background. Domestic violence can and does happen to anyone.

      Also, could you please change your screen name?

    • Chris

      September 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      So much this. I agree that all people should be educated about domestic violence from early age but seriously, being aware that you’re in a dangerous situation does not make your situation any less dangerous.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      I was and am very well educated. I knew about domestic violence. But the only thing that did is make me justify his actions because he couldn’t POSSIBLY be like that.

      I suppose it comforts people to think that domestic violence only happens to certain types of women, but it’s just not true.

    • Chris

      September 9, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      I completely agree. You see that so often with that thought of “It couldn’t possibly happen to me”. Truthfully, I’m not sure how to combat that but it sure as hell isn’t telling women they should know better.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      I think it’s so important that all women understand that it could happen to them.

    • Rose White

      September 9, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      It could be about her background. You don’t know. Did I really say something THAT offensive? The cycle of domestic violence has been studied carefully. Sure, some women who did not see it growing up get caught up in it, but most women who are victims saw that as their example of what a relationship should be like. I am not the awful person you are making me out to be. “Men like him” also very often come from a similar background. Girls get NO education on this and so they often repeat cycles or get taken off their guard.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      An attitude like “a woman like that” perpetuates the myth that only women who might have been abused in the past grow up to experience it. Statistically, yes, that is far more likely, but for women like me who did not come from an abusive background, it contributes to victim shaming. People assume that I had a chaotic childhood when nothing could be further from the truth.

      The first step to eliminating domestic violence altogether is eliminating this idea that it can’t happen to you if you’re rich enough or stable enough or, yes, white enough.

    • Rose White

      September 9, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      It is much LESS likely to happen to you if you were brought up wealthy and in a home where violence was not the norm. Statistically speaking, people who are victims of domestic abuse, saw one of their parents in the same role as a child. That is not “victim shaming” for fuck’s sake. Perhaps this woman grew up in an idyllic home and had an idyllic childhood. I somehow doubt that, but maybe she did. Okay, then how will her daughter react as an adult when a man beats her? I wonder. Her father, who “loved” her and her mother did the same thing. That is the cycle of domestic violence.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      You don’t need to explain domestic violence to me.

      You also are deliberately misunderstanding what I’m saying.

    • Rose White

      September 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      You are the most hyper-sensitive person I have seen in a long time. You seriously need to stop taking everything so personally. Discussing the cycle of domestic violence is not some aggressive “victim shaming”. It is a perfectly natural and normal thing to discuss when talking about this issue. You make me out to me out to be some sort of Nazi or something. For fuck’s sake, calm down. I am not “misunderstanding” you. You are very clear in that there is never enough sand in your vagina when I have something to say, Seriously take a deep breath from time to time. I am not the horrible asshole you have accused me of being on every single thread here. Point to just ONE completely horrible, mean, vicious thing I have said.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      Perhaps I take this seriously because Janay Rice and I have the fact that our partners kicked the crap out of us in common. In a different set of circumstances, this could have been me. For you, this may be some sort of intellectual exercise, but for me it is absolutely not. I take it seriously and personally, and am sensitive about it, because I was beaten for nearly two years of my life- despite my good background, my education, and my upper middle class status. If sharing my story saves other women from what I went through, I will do it.

      I don’t make you out to be anything. I disagree with you and said so, with admirable restraint considering my past history with this subject and the fact that people are still defending this asshole has made me incredibly angry. However, you responded by telling me that I am hyper sensitive. I have not accused you of being a horrible asshole on every single thread, but I have asked you to change your screen name and will continue to do so, since its extremely disrespectful to come into a community that has a regular commenter who has been there for years, commenting with a similar screen name, and comment as though that person didn’t exist- then, when you’re called on it, you shrug it off. It’s insulting. We do not agree on most things, and you are sadly mistaken if you think a message board means you can come online and give your opinions without a response.

      Considering the fact that you referenced the amount of sand I may or may not have in my vagina, the fact that you’ve told me to “for fuck’s sake, calm down”, and the fact that you told me to take a deep breath when I have tried to discuss a sensitive topic calmly and rationally, I would say I’m not the hyper-sensitive one here. I also would never refer to someone as a Nazi, for no other reason than the fact that it isn’t a comparison I take lightly.

      tl;dr: This isn’t about you. Neither is it about my commenting history. Stay focused.

    • Rose White

      September 10, 2014 at 9:17 am

      Again, this is my name and I did not chose it to trash your reputation. I had NO IDEA that there was someone here with your name when I used my REAL NAME to comment here. You seem to think that the world revolves around you and that everyone should know your entire life history, and if they don’t, they are just being so mean. My opinions and thoughts are not outrageous and are perfectly aligned with decency and respect. You read negativity into everything I write without even considering what point I am making.

      If I talk about the cycle of domestic violence, that is not something personal against YOU. Again, I am sure that you think mostly about yourself at all times, but when I write something here, I am actually NOT thinking about you. I know you think that I used my real name here just to piss you off, and that I spend my time thinking about how what I write will affect you, but believe me, that is not the case. I actually do not think about your life story (which I do not know) before I post here. I know you are obsessed with yourself and your life and your image, but please stop taking what I write so personally. It is NOT personal against you. I honestly do not think about you before I write something.

    • whiteroses

      September 10, 2014 at 9:33 am

      Well. I’ve tried to speak to you as an adult would speak to another adult, but apparently I would have made more inroads treating you as a dramatic teenager. That’s the one thing I’m not going to do.

      If you’re on a website, and you comment with a name that is similar to someone else’s, and you’re aware of that? It just makes you look bad. It’s bad form and crappy Internet etiquette, especially since people who have seen me comment for years were curious why I started talking out of my ass. It sounds like you’re making a bid to be relevant- why take the time to build up a reputation when you can just poach someone else’s name? But honestly, I don’t think I have to worry about anyone else mixing us up anymore. All they have to do is look back into your comment history.

      I am not going to disrespect Janay Rice or victims of domestic violence by getting into a personal debate with you. If you want to do that, do it elsewhere. Since you claim I’m so self involved, it’s pretty damn telling that you tried to make this all about you.

    • Rose White

      September 10, 2014 at 10:07 am

      For the love of God, my handle is NOT YOUR HANDLE. They are different. Anyone who can read can tell that they are different. The only person I see making a thing out of it is YOU. It is not crappy internet etiquette for someone to use their own name to post under. If you stopped drawing attention to it, and if you stopped acting like every single thing I say is about you, then the problem will just go away. Talk about teenage drama! You are so obsessed with yourself that it is disturbing to me. When I write something here, it is not about YOU. I swear it is not. People know I am not you.

      Calm. Down. You are so high-strung and take everything so personally. This is just a mommy blog for fuck’s sake. Take a deep breath. Good. Now exhale. Good. Have a cup of tea of a hot bath, but calm the fuck down already. Maybe think about someone other than yourself for a few minutes. Dear Lord are you worked up over nothing.

    • whiteroses

      September 10, 2014 at 10:15 am

      I’m pretty sure I’m not the one who got worked up over this. I have not insulted you, I have not cursed at you, and I have not cast aspersions on your character beyond how you present yourself here. That’s more than you’ve done for me. You keep telling me to calm down- I’m not the one who lost my head when someone disagreed with me. I politely asked you to change your screen name, and you promptly lost your shit. That’s not my responsibility.

      As I said (because apparently it bears repeating), I refuse to get into a personal debate with you here. It’s disrespectful of Janay Rice and the other victims of domestic violence on this thread, some of whom are women I respect very much.

    • Rose White

      September 10, 2014 at 10:19 am

      I did not lose my shit at all. I ignored you for a very long time over it. You are the one who is losing her shit. You have responded to things I have posted here like it is a personal attack against you at every turn, and THAT IS INSULTING. You have of course cast aspersions on my character. You continuously remind everyone that you are not me, because clearly I am saying something really, really horrible.

      Again, in the future, just take a deep breath whenever you see a post by me and understand that it is not about YOU. Stop responding to a general post I write like it is a personal attack against you. It is obnoxious and insulting and very, very childish.

    • whiteroses

      September 10, 2014 at 10:20 am

      It’s insulting to remind people that you’re not me? Who knew. That’s something I wouldn’t have to do had you chosen a different screen name.

      But once again- stop making this about your issues with me. That’s not what this is about and it’s incredibly disrespectful.

    • whiteroses

      September 10, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Also, I’ve been pretty open about my background on this thread. Had you taken the time to read the comments in this particular article before spouting off, then you would know that I’ve spoken about my past here.

    • Rose White

      September 10, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Again, I do not give as much of a shit about you as you seem to think people should. You are really not at all interesting to me. I do not come here just to post things that are personal against you. I am not going to read every post you have written about yourself before I post here. I do not think that this site is all about YOU.

    • whiteroses

      September 10, 2014 at 10:08 am

      Again, I am not going to take your basic lack of Internet etiquette and make it a “blast thread”.

    • Kelly

      September 10, 2014 at 10:20 am

      Perhaps you think that speaking about domestic violence isn’t personal, but for those who have experienced it, I assure you, it very much is. Your assumptions about Janay Rice, her family, her background, her reasons for doing anything, are based on absolutely nothing and are offensive. Your insistence that women who didn’t grow up with violence are less likely to experience it is offensive. Your views ARE personal to people who have experienced domestic violence, and by making this about @whiteroses you’re refusing to actually examine this issue honestly. And that is also offensive to this community, which is above all things, thoughtful and respectful.

    • Guest

      September 10, 2014 at 10:36 am

      How dare you use your real name when it kinda matches someone else’s made up name that is two common words in the English language? How do you sleep at night?

    • whiteroses

      September 10, 2014 at 10:40 am

      Thanks for that. Also- not the point.

      I’m not sure you guys understand Internet etiquette, but whatever.

    • Law girl

      September 12, 2014 at 5:21 am

      I don’t confuse you with each other. Your names are similar-ish but not the same – so etiquette should be satisfied.

    • whiteroses

      September 12, 2014 at 8:53 am

      Just because you don’t doesn’t mean other people don’t. There’re folks on here who have “known” me for years that have to ask me what the hell I’m talking about. And the fact that I’ve asked her repeatedly to tweak her name, just so it can’t be confused with mine, and she always acts like I’m an over sensitive idiot about it?

      She took a polite request that I made and tried to turn it into a personal vendetta. I’ve been called a lot of things, but I’ve never been told I’ve got sand in my vagina. That’s a new one. As stunning as it may be to her, the only reason she’s even on my radar is because people brought the name thing to my attention. Otherwise I’d just let her spew her poison.

      How would you feel?

    • airbones

      September 9, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      You are wrong. I know this for a fact and based on years of working as a dv legal advocate, which required 24 hours of intensive educational training (after college). Your statistics are wrong.

    • Chris

      September 9, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      I don’t believe that for a second. I think the difference is that where there’s wealth, there’s resources to keep things hidden.
      Someone doesn’t knock their wife unconscious on the first attempt. Surely this isn’t the beginning and surely someone else knows but he’s in the NFL and has money to keep things quiet regardless of who knows.
      You don’t have that kind of security when you have no money, no resources, and still have to show up at work everyday even when you’re black and blue. That’s why you can’t get your statistics right.

    • Dirty Old Lady Phillips

      September 9, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      What the fuck does being “wealthy” have to do with anything?

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      Good question. Anyone else notice the subtle undercurrents here? Or maybe they’re not subtle and I’m just trying to give my namejacker the benefit of the doubt.

    • Elizabeth Wakefield

      September 9, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      I grew up in a Beaver Cleaver family in an idyllic suburb. I was loved by my family, involved in school, and was always on the honor roll in college. One of my best semesters, when I received a 4.0 also happened to be the semester when my boyfriend’s abuse was at a peak. But I put on a happy face and pretended nothing was wrong. Do you know why? Because I was a white girl from a good family….I was supposed to be “better” than that. Abuse happens to women of all skin colors and backgrounds.

    • Lackadaisical

      September 10, 2014 at 5:18 am

      Yes, growing up with abuse can make it seem normal. No, not all women who live with abuseabuse grew up with it. No, not all people who grew up with abuse will stay in an abusive relationship. I know a lot of women who were abused by husbands who never experienced it as kids, and their lack of experience made it harder to spot the abuse creeping in and to see the manipulation for lies that it was.

      Out of curiosity what do you mean by “a woman like that”? Are you referring to any woman who remains with her abuser? Has she ever made statements about growing up around abuse? (I genuinely don’t know, in the UK I only know this case from mommyish). Do you mean it to imply that a particular demographic might have more abusive families than others? I haven’t heard anything about her growing up with an abusive parent.

    • Law girl

      September 12, 2014 at 5:09 am

      You are wrong. Abusive relationships happen across all social groups.

  23. WhoremonalCrazyLotusSlugalo

    September 9, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    I get 2 tweets in and tears… just tears. I want to hold each and every one of them and…

  24. wispy

    September 9, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    I really don’t think it’s wrong of people to ask “why the hell would you stay with him?” when they have never been in that situation. I mean it’s baffling. I have been in two abusive relationships, one physical and one psychological. I know what it’s like to just be exhausted from living like that, thinking “oh well, maybe it’s not as bad as I think it is… he’ll change….” and “I just need to be better.” I still would ask myself every day “why the hell am I staying with this fool?” I know everyone in my family thought the same thing, even though they didn’t know the extent of what was going on. I look back and still wonder why on earth I stayed with them so long. It’s been ten years and I still think psychologically abusive guy is following me. I am across the country from where he lives and still think I see his face everywhere and that now is the time he is FINALLY going to kill me. I thought he was in the car behind me this morning and I swerved off the road. If someone wanted to ask me “why did you stay with him?” I think it would be a pretty damn valid question, I wouldn’t be bothered by it.

  25. Katherine Handcock

    September 9, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    I think the problem with the “why did she stay?” question is that it’s rarely asked with a tone of bewilderment, with the sense of searching for understanding. Instead, it’s asked with an aggressive tone, and what it means is “It’s either not that bad or she provoked it.” If media wanted to ask this question in a non-accusatory fashion, they could ask, “Why do people who are being abused stay with their abusers?” in a general sense and speak to experts about the psychology of abuse. Instead, they say, “Why did this particular woman stay?” and then start showing pictures of a smiling couple, or the fancy house and car she’s driving. They may not think they’re blaming the victim, but really, what other implication is there to that?

  26. wolfheart

    September 9, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Long-ish video, but very much worth watching, answering the question “why did you stay?”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHnv8Ym2Jps

    • Rose White

      September 9, 2014 at 7:27 pm

      Can we teach girls that LOVE is not the end-all, be-all of everything? That gets so ingrained into girls at such a young age. Love is great, but there are a lot of other things on the list of what to look for in a partner. This woman “remained” a victim of domestic violence because she was told that LOVE was all that mattered. It is not all that matters. Love cannot overcome everything. Sometimes you can really love someone but not be a romantic match with them. We need to stop raising girls on a diet of ridiculous fairy tales.

    • brebay

      September 9, 2014 at 9:02 pm

      I’m sorry, but she “remained” a victim of domestic violence only because he remained violent toward her. She didn’t continue to be a crime victim because criminal acts continued to be committed against her. It’s really not a semantic issue. This whole issue is about words, specifically the nuance between “Why didn’t she leave?” and “Why didn’t he stop?” So for people who still don’t get it: There is no assumption of risk in criminal law, there is no portion of fault assigned to the victim like there can be in a civil case like an accident, etc. It is always 100% the fault of the one committing the crim, and the language we use needs to reflect that.

    • whiteroses

      September 9, 2014 at 11:04 pm

      And considering the fact that they’ve been together since they were sophomores in high school, why does this surprise anyone? At all? She’s been with him for what has to be at least 98 percent of her life, and I guarantee you that this isn’t the first time he’s hit her, just the first time he got caught. They’ve got a daughter together. It’s not just as simple as “remaining” a victim- and what the hell does that even mean?

      Why the hell isn’t he in jail?

  27. brebay

    September 9, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    For those of you who still have something left in your stomachs to rage vomit…
    http://www.eurweb.com/2014/09/ben-carson-defends-ray-rice-stop-demonizing-him-watch/

  28. Elizabeth Wakefield

    September 9, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I stayed because he convinced me that I was the key to his happiness and that he would kill himself if I left him. I stayed because he told me that I was so fucked up that he was the only person who could love me.

    I left because I was broken.

  29. brebay

    September 10, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more absurd…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/10/floyd-mayweather-jr-ray-rice_n_5795426.html

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