I remember seeing domestic violence first hand as a child. I remember the sounds of fists flying and blood curdling screams. I remember. I remember broken glass and bruised body parts. I remember crying and wanting it to end. I remember.
By now, you all have seen the Ray Rice video that was posted by TMZ on Monday that showed Ray knocking out his then fiancee, Janay Palmer (now wife), in an elevator in Atlantic City last February. I was heartbroken. I talked about domestic violence a couple of months when Stephen A. Smith made that asinine comment about provoking violence. It seems that I need to say more.
How about this? Safe Horizon states that:
- Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men
- Women ages 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
- Every year, 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner
The Families Suffer too:
- Every year, more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes.
- Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence also suffer abuse or neglect at high rates (30% to 60%).
- A 2005 Michigan study found that children exposed to domestic violence at home are more likely to have health problems, including becoming sick more often, having frequent headaches or stomachaches, and being more tired and lethargic.
- A 2003 study found that children are more likely to intervene when they witness severe violence against a parent – which can place a child at great risk for injury or even death.
The Ravens dropped Ray Rice from their roster and he is no longer employed after the video was posted. Now, there is a question of whether they had seen the full video prior to the two game suspension or were they just doing it after the full video was posted and everyone was outraged. No one knows. That situation is still being fleshed out and will come to light shortly about who knew what when, but what was surprising was the Instagram post by Janay.
Wow! Is Janay really worrying about Ray having to get a job after knocking her out? I know she didn’t want her life thrust into the public, but when you marry a professional athlete and he knocks you out in public, you can’t hide. Think Rihanna and Chris Brown. Rihanna probably wished that her abuse wasn’t made national news, but remember what the Bible says:
For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. Mark 4:22 (NIV)
I can’t imagine the humiliation she feels, but this situation right here needed to come to light. We needed to see this so that we can shed light on the fact that 1 out of every 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. We need to talk about it. We need to get help and we need to hold each other accountable for our choices. Choices have consequences. Good or bad, you must live with the decision. I know that if Janay had a clock she would love to rewind the events that occurred that fateful evening, but she doesn’t. She will always remember.
My advice is simple: Stand up. Be accountable. Get help. Use this tragedy for your triumph. Teach others and know that you will always remember.