High profile domestic violence cases, like that of former NFL player Ray Rice, are helping to bring awareness to the plight of victims and the cycle of violence. They are also giving us a great starting point to begin conversations on how to address this very preventable problem.
First and foremost no matter how you look at it, who the abuser or the victim is – domestic abuse is WRONG. Controlling someone you claim to love through the use of power is WRONG. Blaming the victim or questioning his/her reason for staying is WRONG.
We’ve also learned that there are as many tactics of control and abuse as there are abusers. And there are as many reasons for not leaving as there are victims. Survivors are turning to social media to tell their story in a very powerful way. Just search #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft on Twitter. In 140 characters they have answered the question, ‘Why does someone stay in an abusive relationship?’ so that anyone who reads their responses can understand.
We’ve heard from survivors from all walks of life and realize that it can happen to anyone. Jeanette, a former Coburn Place resident, bravely shared her story. She admits, “I was just so damn dependent on him. It was all about him. I never took the time to look at me.” Watch her story – WTHR: Abuse Survivors Recognize Factors in Ray Rice Case.
We understand that domestic violence is a very complex issue. The answer to ending it is very simple. Abusive behavior is a choice. Don’t do it. We as a community must not tolerate it. Treat your partner as an equal and with respect. Be a model for a healthy relationships for the children and young adults in your life.
Whether you are a victim or an abuser, there is help available to you.
Recognized as experts in the field of domestic violence, the media has relied on us for reactions, explanations and answers. We are grateful to our partners for the awareness they bring.