Tweeting against Domestic Abuse
Image courtesy of examiner.com
So just to recap the last two weeks – everyone hates Ray Rice, Roger Goodell, and the Atlanta justice system for allowing Rice a pretrial diversion program to avoid jail time and the incident going on his record.
This is not news to anyone.
The story behind the story is Janay Palmer, now Janay Rice. My attention was drawn to how she didn’t file charges. The woman married the man a month later! People are asking, “Why doesn’t she leave him?” I’ve seen enough Lifetime movies to know that women in abusive relationships don’t immediately leave their abusers. There are women who never leave, who suffer for years, and some are even killed.
This event triggered an onslaught of tweets from abuse victims. Twitter hashtag #whyistayed has brought women to the web to express their own stories of abusive relationships. Thousands of tweets that make it glaringly apparent how many victims exist.
The flip side of that is the #whyileft hashtag. They are just as jarring but with an element of hope. It lends words and a voice to people who may be in the same situation. It says, “We left…you can, too.”
What can be the result of all of this media and internet attention on abuse? Will there be more support for people who want to or need to get help? Ray Rice has to attend court mandated counseling. That ruling should be more widely implemented in abuse cases. Throwing people in jail won’t stop abuse.
Domestic abuse is not handled well by the legal system. Don’t get me started on the inefficiency of restraining orders. When you file a restraining order that just makes the person even angrier. If someone wants to hurt you, how is an arbitrary piece of paper going to keep your attacker from staying 100ft away from you? How does that keep anybody safe? Many opt for handling the situation on their own and avoid the police all together; reaching out to friends, family or even organizations that help abuse victims. National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-7233) provides information about finding shelters and protection advocates in your area.
Domestic abuse is not isolated to men. Women hit, too. The question is why do people resort to violence? You have someone you love and you impulsively inflict pain on them. Maybe not physical. Verbal abuse and emotional abuse is also very damaging. Where is this aggression coming from and where did it begin?
It is a difficult situation to empathize with and you can’t fault Janay Rice for wanting to work on her marriage with her husband. My hope for her is that they both actually put in the work in therapy and find healing. Is that a naïve thought? Perhaps. Will it work? That’s between them. You never know what happens behind closed doors.
Unless there’s a security camera.
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