The entire nation is abuzz with the news reports regarding Ray Rice and domestic violence. Only days after Ray Rice was called on the carpet for punching out his fiancée, Janay Palmer (now Rice), another NFL player, Ray McDonald, was arrested for domestic violence. The Ray Rice and domestic violence incident had occurred months prior, and was followed by the marriage of Janay and Ray Rice.
Then the video footage released by TMZ was blasted across all screens in America. Lines were drawn as to where citizens stand regarding Ray Rice and domestic violence. Some came to his defense, some blamed Janay, and some wanted him hung. What are the chances of catching a brutal and blatant attack such as that of Ray Rice punching his fiancée to a point of being unconscious? To see him drag her limp body from the elevator and drop her onto the floor, as if dropping a sack of potatoes? I’d venture to guess probably not even once a day is such caught on camera. Seeing this footage proved beyond doubt this was not an accident. It was intentional, it was vicious and it was unnecessary. One in every four women in the United States will, at some time during their life, become a victim of domestic violence. Worldwide the statistic changes. It becomes one in three.
Many who are unfamiliar with the true mechanics of intimate partner abuse have said of the incident with Ray Rice and domestic violence, “He just got a little mad.” “She had it coming. She should have just kept her mouth shut.” There are many other opinions that are based on a lack of knowledge of domestic violence. Mr. Ray Rice will probably be required to complete an anger management course. Those of us who work diligently in bringing domestic violence awareness to the forefront know the chances of that bringing change are minimal. We do hope and pray that Ray Rice and domestic violence will part company, whether it is through such a course, a spiritual awakening, or in whatever manner it takes to open his eyes to what the real nature of domestic violence is. It is gaining power and control over a weaker person, someone you know, someone you are usually related to or who is an intimate partner. Once a batterer has control over their subject, it is beyond difficult to break that cycle. But, it can, however, be done—with proper advance planning and packing of an escape bag. Know before you go!
Another typical reaction in all this Ray Rice and domestic violence story? All too often the victim either defends their batterer, or they take the blame for being abused. Janay Rice has asked to be given time and space for them to work out their relationship. I was asked on a television interview this week about Mrs. Rice’s situation. I stand by my comments.
“Will it happen again? Probably. Will she live through the next time? God, I hope so.”
Now that I’ve addressed Ray Rice and domestic violence, I’m curious to know why Ray McDonald was on the field days after he was accused of domestic violence. He was allowed to play, to go on as if nothing had ever happened. The SanFrancisco 49’ers have yet to address this attack. Complacency keeps domestic violence alive and abusing. When will we say “Enough!”? One should wonder how much of a part Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome and traumatic head injuries like the concussions now being addressed with the NFL play in the whole domestic violence scheme of things.
Ladies and gentlemen, domestic violence is not a new thing. It has been around for a very long time. It is now running rampant at pandemic levels, and treated like an unwanted stepchild when it comes to funding. Diversion of funds and assistance to save the lives of domestic violence victims (men, women and children) somehow gets pushed to the back of the line.
Ray Rice and domestic violence has shed a new light, brightly, on what was hidden in darkness for so many years. The last time it got this much attention was upon the death of Nicole Brown Simpson. She had made many calls to 911 prior to her death, fearful of her husband, O.J. Simpson. Oh, a professional football player. Hmm . . .
Carolyn S. Hennecy is the author of ORANGE BLOSSOM WISHES: Child Molested, Woman Abused – Her Victorious Journey to Freedom and her most recent book, a guide for victims of domestic violence, BeLEAVEing – Safely Leaving Abusive Relationships. She is also an international speaker, consultant and trainer.
Carolyn’s newest book, BeLEAVEing – Safely Leaving Abusive Relationships
will be released on October 1.
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