Janay Palmer-Rice is just like us

One in four women will be victim to domestic violence during her lifetime. Devastatingly, Janay Rice (nee Palmer) was one of these women.

On February 15, 2014, Ray Rice, (now former) running back for the Baltimore Ravens was arrested, charged, and released from jail on assault charges, after him and his (then) fiancee got into a physical altercation at a hotel in Atlantic City. On February 19, TMZ published a video of Rice dragging an apparently unconscious Palmer from an elevator.

The Ravens organization and NFL supported Rice and fought in his defense. Coach John Harbaugh said that the two had a couples issue that they had to work through and that they were receiving counseling.

On March 27, Palmer dropped the charges. On March 28, Rice and Palmer wed, making them a part of spousal-privilege in court. Rice and Palmer are unable to testify against each other in court because they are legally married.

On May 1, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell gave Rice a two game suspension for the domestic abuse allegations. Many were outraged by this, after several PED users received 4-6 game suspensions. After releasing the mishap, the NFL announced a new domestic violence policy, on August 28, outlining a six game suspension for these cases.

Yesterday, video released of Rice punching Palmer in the face, knocking her out, then dragging her out of the elevator where this event occurred. The disturbing, vulgar footage was (unshockingly) released by TMZ, after which the Baltimore Ravens released Ray Rice. This was followed by the NFL suspending him indefinitely. Both the Ravens and the NFL claimed that they had never seen nor heard of this footage prior to September 8th.

Victims of domestic violence often do not see them self as victim. They are manipulated and abused to believe that they are the ones at fault. In the case of Janay Palmer, she was forced to believe that she was in the wrong the night of the elevator incident.

On May 23, 2014, the Baltimore Ravens tweeted, “Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.” The fact that the Ravens organization would tweet something like this, even if Janay said it, is appalling. The only role she played that evening was being manipulated, abused, and trapped by an abusive, controlling, disturbing man.

If Ray Rice is willing to drag her unconscious body out of an elevator in public, to what extremes does he go in private? Because Palmer dropped the charges, Rice will not be charged with counts of domestic violence, even though there is apparent evidence of his abuse. If this was a regular man instead of a star football player, would this have the same nonchalant legal outcome?

Ray Rice is a disgusting individual. However, there is so much more to realize from this situation. This event can be a learning experience for others. I pray that it opens the eyes of many to the pain that 25% of women go through in their daily life. Outsiders make simple suggestions that these victims should just leave the relationship. IT’S NOT THAT EASY. Abusive partners bribe their victims with gifts and sweet words. They threaten them to do further harm if they leave. Other women are humiliated that they are in an abusive relationship or fear they have no other outlet.

Many people are trapped in families, relationships, and friendships where abuse and violence occur. If you are one of these individuals, you are not to blame and you are not alone. There is hope for your mental, emotional, and physical safety. Please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline to get help at 1-800-799-7233 or e-mail me at c8dimm@gmail.com.

Spread positivity and love y’all.

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