Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Do you want to know why? Here is why

Love, guilt, religion, children, shame, hopelessness, embarrassment, loyalty, exhaustion, denial, institutional bias, compassion fatigue and family pressure.

Lack. Lack of money, lack of friends, lack of family support, lack of confidence, lack of energy, lack of transportation, lack of concern shown by law enforcement and/or the justice system, lack of belief in one’s ability to go it alone, lack of a healthy perspective.

Depression and anxiety resulting from years of psychological abuse. Depression and anxiety caused by living day in and day out with a partner who relentlessly blames, minimizes, denies, makes excuses, lies, condescends, withholds and threatens.

Fear. Fear of being alone, of hurting the kids, of not being able to provide, of losing face, of losing everything. Fear of being hurt, ridiculed, litigated, stalked or killed.

Everyone is asking why Janay Palmer didn’t leave Ray Rice. Why did she marry him and why is she still defending him.

Here are some additional questions I think we need to ask about situations like this.

Why is he hitting her? Why does he not show compassion, restraint or remorse? Why are we focusing so much attention on her response, as opposed to his behavior? Why does our society not throw more resources at a major health epidemic that affects 25% of all women? Why is our government not outraged by this threat that results in 2 million injuries and 1,300 deaths in the U.S. each year?

I’ve written before about this very topic. I was a victim of DV. I left immediately after being assaulted. Bully for me. But every woman faces different choices, and often those choices feel impossible.

Right now Janay Palmer is fighting two battles. Once is the fear and abuse she is subjected to in her marriage. The other is the relentless attention, judgment and abuse she is receiving from media and the public. She has to decide where to put her energy and I imagine right now, it’s going towards the latter. Maybe we should all just lay off and give her some space to heal.

#WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft are two important hashtags trending right now. Read them. Tell your friends to read them. They are giving victims a voice.


  1. "Why are we focusing so much attention on her response, as opposed to his behavior?" - that's it right there. In a nutshell. One of the big things wrong with society.

    1. Yeah, I was reading the #RayRice thread on twitter tonight and I just had to stop. I don't want to believe there is that much ignorance and just plain meanness in the world. Going back to my hidey-hole now...


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