Ray Rice Video Makes Women Explain #WhyIStayed

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TMZ leaked the actual footage of Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, out cold in an elevator from February. The video was leaked early Monday morning, and by that same afternoon, the Baltimore Ravens had chosen to release their top running back. The altercation between Rice and Palmer has caused fury all over social media since Rice was let go. Many question if he was released for his actions or if he was released because it was bad PR for the NFL. Despite that though, this domestic violence video has caused another topic of discussion through social media, specifically Twitter. Rice has put his wife, Janay, into a situation in which society is now questioning why she stayed if he was abusing her. Because of this, Ray Rice has now caused women all over the world to explain #WhyIStayed.

Ray Rice has gone viral through every type of social media since the video of him beating Palmer surfaced the internet early Monday morning. It had already caused many fans to question the NFL and why he was only suspended for two games, whereas other players were being suspended for twice and even three times as many games for drug usage. He was not the only person being questioned and criticized though. Janay Palmer was also trending with her husband as many questioned why she did not just leave after early indications that he has allegedly been abusing her. Social media displayed various opinions stating that “she probably deserved it,” “she instigated it,” and “she should not have married him.”

Beverly Gooden, an American Author, created the Twitter hashtag #WhyIStayed late Monday night in hopes to raise awareness for an increasing problem in the United States and all over the world. She also started this hashtag as a way to respond to the countless comments that were surfacing social media as people were criticizing the situation in more ways than anticipated. Gooden explained that although she could not answer this question for Palmer, she wanted to express her relation to the issue as she was a victim of domestic violence herself. Gooden is among the thousands of women who repeatedly tweeted #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft within the past 24 hours. She is also among the 1 out of 4 women who are abused every year and among the millions of women who reported being a victim of domestic violence. #WhyIStayed has given women the opportunity to explain exactly why they could not leave the abusive relationship that many felt forced to be in. It has raised awareness, as women who may have stayed quiet about the issue for years are able to explain why it was not an easy step to make, but a process that took years to initiate and eventually leave for good.

Since Monday, #WhyIStayed has opened the eyes to many and it is continuing to shine a light on a hidden, world-wide issue. Despite what had happened to Ray Rice and Janay Palmer, and what exactly is in store for their future, this issue will continue to stay a personal issue with their family. The leaked video of their altercation has done more than raise questions on Rice’s state of mind, but it has also raised questions on just how much these issues stay hidden from society until it comes out clearly for the world to see. The altercation between Rice and Palmer occurred in February, which was six months ago. A video was shown half a year later and Rice was released from the Ravens within hours of its release. Women became restless as they flipped on social media and read comments like “Janay probably deserved it.” Nonetheless, professional athletes are not the only ones involved in domestic violence. #WhyIStayed has proven that it should not be taken lightly and society should not be aware of an issue just because of a video that went viral.

Opinion by Tricia Manalansan

Sources:
Photo Courtesy Jeff Weese – Creativecommons License
ABC News
Washington Post
CTV News

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