I think Tina Turner got it right when she said, “What’s love got to do, got to do with it? What’s love but a second hand in emotion?”

Passive aggressive behaviors and emotional turmoil is not love, stop mistaking it for such. Let’s just say he truly loves you, shouldn’t his kisses come from the touch of his lips against yours and not his fist? Shouldn’t his touch come from his gentle hands and not the stronghold of his grip around your neck? I’ll tell you the difference between a kiss and a punch and what Ray Rice did sure wasn’t it!

"Domestic violence does not end immediately with separation. Over 70% of the women injured in domestic violence cases are injured after separation."
“Domestic violence does not end immediately with separation. Over 70% of the women injured in domestic violence cases are injured after separation.”

I mean come on now…you mean to tell me the NFL needed this recent video to surface in order to bring down a stiff penalty to Mr. Ray “I need serious help” Rice? Get out of here! As if dragging the lifeless body of his then-fiance Janay Palmer wasn’t enough. Shame on you Mr. NFL and Mr. Ravens. I believe accountability should be had on all fronts; front office, team owners, commissioner, and whoever else has decision making power. Did the court of public opinion convince the Ravens and the NFL Commissioner to act more swiftly and with a strong arm this time? When will society begin to devalue those who don’t value their own livelihoods.

Now look, my real concern is that of his now wife Janay Palmer and her ‘standing by her man.’ I don’t condone her decision, but I’m empathetic to it and sick to my stomach with people who keep blaming her. Who can’t come up with what they would have or could have done if it were them? But be careful if you live in a glass house. Look, clearly what’s going on between them is deeper than they care to share; evident in what transpired in the inside of the elevator. Too bad we don’t have audio to see what the conversation was all about, but I’m sure those throwing stones have their theories. Does any content excuse his behavior? What I will say is, I’m almost certain this isn’t the first time the two have argued this way nor the last. She has a level of comfort in this relationship that only a woman who has been there can comprehend. I, unfortunately can speak from experience (both of my own and vicariously through those I love), and leaving ain’t always easy. My advice to those standing in judgment is to not speak on what you do not know or have not experienced; consider yourself blessed and highly favored (can you hear the sarcasm in my voice). What Janay is experiencing here is something that only time and revelation can heal. She will have her epiphany and she doesn’t need a billion and one people (strangers to be exact) pointing the finger at her to say, “I told you so!”

"Physical violence is when a person hurts or tries to hurt a partner by hitting, kicking, or using another type of physical force." (CDC)
“Physical violence is when a person hurts or tries to hurt a partner by hitting, kicking, or using another type of physical force.” (CDC)

I’ve had some time to take a look at many different resources, and during my search I’ve found the National Domestic Violence organization to be the most helpful. I’ve shared a bit of their stats below. I highly recommend you visit their site to gain a better understanding of DV and seek help, if needed. They even have aid for victims preparing to leave, when they leave, and after they’ve left the abusive relationship.

Here are a few facts, , regarding Domestic Violence.

  1. On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year.
  2. Nearly 3 in 10 women (29%) and 1 in 10 men (10%) in the US have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by a partner and report a related impact on their functioning.
  3. 1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  4. IPV alone affects more than 12 million people each year.
  5. Females ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence.

Still a skeptic and want to blame things on Janay? Check out the Twitter movement #WhyIStayed to hear from real victims, everyday women, who have real stories that will alter your point of view. I encourage you to tweet those brave women, who got naked for the world to see, and praise their bravery.

Still unsure of why victims stay? Let Leslie Morgan Steiner tell you her personal story in the most naked way she can. Thank you Leslie for being so transparent and brave.

Let’s do the work necessary to help our sisters make it through or avoid such disturbing circumstances. If you know someone who is seeking a way out or isn’t sure if she has the strength to leave, please be a friend and give them the National Domestic Violence Hotline number 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).




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