An estimated 42.4 million women in the U.S. have experienced rape or physical violence by an
intimate partner in their lifetime, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
One in three women have been assaulted by an intimate partner. Now take a second and imagine
if that was your mother, sister, or best friend. As the month of domestic violence awareness
rises, it is important to talk about the ever-prevalent domestic violence incident that’s been in the
media for the past few days.
Ray Rice, the former running back for the Baltimore Ravens, has been suspended indefinitely
from the NFL. If you are not familiar with the story, the reason behind the suspension was that a
video surfaced of Rice hitting his fiancée at the time, Janay Rice, in the face, knocking her out.
Rice then can be seen dragging Janay’s body out of the elevator. After several attempts to lift
her, it appears as if Ray Rice is getting frustrated and he decides to just leave her there.
You would think that Janay would be embarrassed of the leaked footage of the private moment
she and her husband had; infuriated, she should have taken this opportunity to be the voice of all
women who are in a similar situations to rise against their attacker and take action. Surprisingly
no, she didn’t do anything. She stayed by her man and was actually offended that the NFL made
the decision to fire Ray Rice. She was mad at the media for invading her privacy.
I would have to agree with being mad about invading her privacy and leaking footage of her and
her husband. But let me be the person to say if that man is comfortable putting his hands on you
at any moment it’s because you have allowed it in the past. You set the tone in a relationship.
The very first time he hit you, you should have walked away. Seeing how you stayed you gave
him permission to keep acting the way he was because he knows you are going to tolerate it.
Therefore the next time he hits you, it shouldn’t be a surprise.
What makes a woman stay? Why is it so hard to want more out of a relationship outside of black
eyes and broken bones? Many women who have been a part of domestic violence situations
often say that they couldn’t leave. They had so much love for their spouse, and it was almost as
if he showed his love back by hitting them.
Women need to take that power back and realize that they are more than pretty faces and nice
bodies. Although it is nice to have a man, do we really need one at any cost? A man that can
raise his fist to me does not love me.
Domestic violence does not just have to be one-sided. It is rarely reported, but women can be the
aggressor in relationships too. Men tend to think that it’s a blow to their masculinity if they share
that they are being abused by a woman.
At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what your sexual orientation is, no one should stand for
abuse. No matter who’s the aggressor. Everyone wants to be loved, but not at any cost.