I like my blog to be a happy place despite what is going on in the outside world, partly because that's how this blog is and partly because when I am super passionate about something, I have a near-impossible time articulating my feelings. This is why I work in data where I can let numbers prove my points. However right now something too important is going on. Everything going on with Ray Rice and the NFL makes me sick, so this is my attempt to articulate my feelings. With some data of course. Domestic abuse is a topic that is incredibly close to home.
1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men are the victims of domestic abuse in the United States. At the rate of 1 in 4 and 1 in 10, someone you know is probably (silently) living with domestic abuse, and all these statuses on social media blaming Janay Rice and saying "But she CHOSE to stay" are putting your friend/sister/brother/cousin/aunt/uncle/grandparent one step further from making the incredibly difficult decision to leave their situation.
Let's talk about leaving for a minute. Did you know that 70% of domestic violence murders happen AFTER the victim has left the relationship? In what other situation would we expect someone to make a decision that is that likely to result in death? Domestic violence is the 3rd leading cause of homelessness, and last year over 1,200 women were murdered by their partners. Victims of domestic violence have often been isolated and/or psychologically abused. It takes an average of 35 incidents before a woman reports domestic abuse, and when deciding to leave they can be faced with having to be economically independent for the first time in their lives, losing their children, becoming homeless, being humiliated, having nowhere to go, murder...If you want more reasons women stay check out the hashtag #WhyIStayed.
Remember last year when almost 1/3 of congress voted not to renew the Violence Against Women Act? And now this, with the NFL only deciding to punish Rice (because I do not view the previous 2 game suspension much of a punishment) once it turns into a PR issue, a money issue. Not to mention our justice system that decided the appropriate punishment for Rice was placing him into an "intervention program", the numerous people who participated in covering up the crime, the law enforcement officials who participated in said cover up, and the countless people on social media claiming Rice is being unfairly punished. I mean, why would she leave when everyone else is saying it's not that big of deal? It doesn't even warrant 1/10th the punishment that smoking weed does in the NFL.
So this is how much society values women? And what makes me incredibly sick too is seeing a lot of these victim-shaming statuses posted by women. Clearly Congress isn't going to support us, society won't, the justice system won't, and neither will NFL and other big money makers. Who do we have but each other? I'm not saying I'm perfect in not judging other women for their decisions, but we've got to do better.
This is all I have to say. Educate yourself. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse call the domestic abuse hotline 800.621.HOPE (4673).