Video: Domestic Violence Becomes National Debate after Release of Ray Rice Video

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – It’s disturbing and difficult to watch. Former NFL player Ray Rice caught on tape punching his fiance in a hotel elevator. The new, more detailed video has sparked outrage and a national debate about domestic violence.

Former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice was caught on a surveillance camera knocking his now wife, Janay Palmer, unconscious in a hotel elevator. The incident happened in February and the 1st video only showed Rice dragging Palmer out of the elevator. Rice received a two-game suspension from the league. After more footage of the incident was released by TMZ, the Ravens terminated Rice’s contract and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.
Those who work with domestic violence victims say it’s not uncommon for women to stay in an abusive relationship.

“I’ve found the reason why a lot women stay is because of financial reasons. A lot them are dependent on their partners financially and so because they don’t have the financial means to do for themselves they stay in an abusive relationship,” says Tonya Pickens, a domestic violence coordinator at Safe Haven in Columbus.

An estimated 1.3 million women are physically abused by an intimate partner each year. Janay Rice is now coming to her husband’s defense on social media, saying she loves and supports her husband.

“Just thinking that domestic violence is normal, or a part of a healthy relationship and we know that’s not the case but some of these women don’t know that these crimes are in fact crimes,” says Leah Pylate, an Assistant Director for MSU’s Health Education, Wellness & Sexual Assault Center.

The NFL denies seeing the video in its entirety, but watching the violent act on tape shed a new light on what actually happened in the elevator.

“A lot of times people want to sugarcoat the situation and make it seem like they really weren’t at fault, but after that second video was shown and it was really seen what really occurred, a lot of people are really upset about the situation,” says Pickens.

The incident brought stiff criticism to the NFL and it’s handling of the situation.
Louisville High School Head Football Coach M.C. Miller says this incident is a teachable moment for players in high school, college, and the pros.

“What he did was absolutely wrong. That’s something you don’t need to do, hit a woman. I’m teaching my kids now, they see that and see what can happen to you afterwards. Now his career is messed up. It’s not a good example for young people. Main thing is, just leave that alone,” says Miller.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 85% of domestic violence victims are female.

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