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Thursday, September 11, 2014

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).


  1. You are so freakin awesome to have shared this! The whole situation just makes me sick. Part of my ministry that I'm trying to get into will be to help single mothers, abused women, and prostitutes. These women deserve so much more than they've ever been given and it's our responsibility, as women, to carry each other through life. You're awesome sauce Linds!

  2. This is so true, you never know until you know. My marriage was not physically abusive but it was so bad for so many years before I finally had the guts to say enough. I felt trapped, so I stayed and put up with really horrible stuff. There are so many factors to consider, you can't blame the victim for staying. Sometimes its the only means of self preservation that is available, as messed up as that sounds. Thanks for putting it out there!

  3. Ray Rice and scum like him - will have their day.
    Karma comes around even if the justice system doesn't.

    Great post! Love the numbers! :)

  4. Love this. So true. Thanks for speaking out!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  5. I couldn't agree with you more. I'm shocked when people think women are seen as equals in our society, when time and time again media proves otherwise. Sexism still exists and domestic violence is more rampant than people care to admit. We need to open our eyes and start doing something about it not just sensationalizing one or two stories.

  6. Ugh, yes!!!! It is so easy for one to judge someone because they stay in a relationship and don't leave. But who are we to judge? We don't know their reasons for staying. We don't know the situation. All we know is that we are all human and we should support one another and not bash a decision that you know nothing about. Great post full of actual facts that support your view instead of just spewing stuff like people on social media are doing!

  7. very well written - and i completely agree. this whole thing is hard for me to keep up with - the domestic abuse is too close to home to me. most of the people who have an opinion about these kinds of things have no idea what they are talking about.

  8. so true. i hate all this victim blaming on focusing on "well she married him" "well she blah blah blah." i don't care what she did. what he did is wrong and he should be punished. and somehow she's the one who ends up getting judged instead of the compassion she should be receiving. ugh. thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  9. such a serious issue that i'm glad that is getting attention here! happy weekend!

  10. So happy you wrote this. I feel the same way you do!!


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