And She Married Him Anyway!

By now everyone has heard about NFL player Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens (and seen the famous video). He was recently  terminated indefinitely for his behavior: using his then fiancée as a punching bag while alone with her in a casino hotel elevator. He beat her until she was rendered unconscious, then dragged her out like a rag doll.

But I don’t want to talk about him! I want to talk about her, Janay Rice. After witnessing the video, and its violent nature, most people are asking, “Why on earth would she marry him after that beating? She must like it, or have no self-esteem.” I’m not going to come to Janay Rice’s defense, but neither am I going to judge, or attack her.

It would appear that Janay Rice is not thinking logically. To actually marry Ray Rice after a beating, witnessed by the whole world, no less, can seem crazy to most people. But let’s discuss some of the reasons that some women stay, despite their violent relationship.

* Familiarity. It could be that Janay Rice grew up in a violent home, so abuse is not uncommon to her. And since people seek what’s familiar, it could be very possible that she finds the violence with Ray Rice very familiar, thereby making it a comfortable environment. This does not mean that she likes being beaten.

*Danger. It’s possible that Janay Rice finds it dangerous to leave that relationship for reasons not known to the public. Maybe her husband has threatened her, or her family. Maybe for her, leaving means jeopardizing herself and those she loves.

*Financial hardship. It’s a possibility that Janay Rice fears leaving because she depends on her husband for her financial stability.

*Fear. Janay Rice may be afraid of being isolated, shamed, embarrassed, or humiliated.

*Low self-esteem. Janay Rice may feel that she doesn’t deserve any better than what she’s got. So she settles.

*Brainwashed. Ray Rice may have brainwashed his wife. She may believe everything he tells her. So she stays.

We must remember that not everyone is all bad. So when the beating is over, and the “Honeymoon Phase” begins, it’s not uncommon to forget the bad stuff, and concentrate on the good that’s currently happening. During this blissful period, women often get seduced, and lulled into the fallacy that no more beatings will occur.

Domestic violence is a huge problem in the United States. Here are just a few statistics: every 9 seconds a woman is assaulted or beaten; domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women; every day in the United Sates, more than three women are murdered by their boyfriends or husbands. The list goes on. You can read about it here: Domestic Violence Statistics.

Domestic violence is real. It happens every day, the victims generally women. It’s important to understand the root of why women continue to live in a deadly environment. Education is key. But it must start when girls are young. They must be taught that abuse is NEVER okay.

If we start educating these girls when it counts, maybe then, when she’s grown, she won’t marry him anyway!