By now, many have seen the infamous video released by TMZ on Sept. 8th, of Ray Rice, former Baltimore Raven, Running Back, catching his than fiancé, Janay Palmer, in the face with a stiff jab. After seconds of unconsciousness, he then dragged her slumped body partially out of the elevator. There is nothing pretty about domestic violence so it should not have been a big surprise that the newest images shown in the video would be egregious.
Ray Rice had already been punished by the courts with referrals to a deferment program and the NFL decided to give him a whopping two-game suspension. However, the NFL went through great scrutiny for their slap on the wrist punishment against the serious matter of domestic violence.
At first, many questioned if Janay’s race played a part in why the punishment was so light. If she was a white woman being dragged unconsciously out of an elevator would the NFL had responded to Ray Rice more harshly? The NFL’s initial response taints the delayed effort they are making now to suspend Rice indefinitely, which is clearly just for PR. I think the sentiment that we are not valued, further added insult to injury to Janay and other black women who are also victims of domestic violence.
Then you had commentators like Stephen A. Smith and talk show host Whoopi Goldberg injecting provocation. Of course, Janay had to do something to cause Ray Rice to knock her out. It appeared that she did pop him in the face right before they entered the elevator. However, the way he walked in the elevator eager for the doors to close, exhibited a man ready to inflict revenge whether than show restraint. Sadly, the message I continue to hear is that the victim caused her own fate.
I don’t agree that it is right for anyone to hit another person, but the way we react to certain encounters defines whether as an adult, we have enough discipline to exert self-control or not. Ray Rice apparently does not have that discipline and now the consequences of his action precede him.
If it isn’t embarrassing enough for Janay Rice to re-live with millions of others what she experienced that night, now she is being further ridiculed for staying with Rice and marrying him. Why would anyone stay with someone who would hurt them like that? I can’t say why in her case, but I do know millions of women do it every day. They want to believe the man they love will realize the pain they are causing and change. The decision to walk away and not get married was not just on Janay but on Ray Rice too. Despite the trouble and public embarrassment he underwent he also decided to stay with her and say, “I do.”
I just don’t think it is fair to continue to victimize the victim. When people assume she is in it for the money, or suggest that she did something to provoke his reaction, you take the fault away from the perpetrator and place it on the victim. Perpetrators of domestic violence will never change if there is always someone to make excuses for them. There is no excuse!
Millions of women have suffered from domestic violence; my self-included. According to Domestic Violence Statistics, “every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.” http://domesticviolencestatistics.org/domestic-violence-statistics/
Many women who often come from fatherless homes find themselves in toxic relationships that they don’t know how to break away from. My eBook on Amazon, I Want My Daddy… The Psychology of Abandonment covers the effects of rejection from the first man we are assigned to love, our fathers. It discusses why his presence is important because in his absence, a young girl full of insecurities will eventually become a vulnerable woman constantly drawn to unhealthy relationships. See link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MXDW5D2
It’s not Janay Palmer’s fault that Ray Rice lost his prominent career as a running back for the Baltimore Ravens. Ray Rice had a choice. He did not have to strike her; he could have simply walked away. The only thing Janay hurt on Ray Rice was his ego. In a world where more and more people seem to lack the ability to use conflict resolutions, people are unfortunately suffering the consequences of their actions. If Ray Rice had more self-control over himself, he would still be a Raven today.
Is it Janay Palmers fault for the domestic dispute?
What do you think?