We all winced as we watched Ray Rice assault his wife, Janay, in a video from February of the couple in Atlantic City. However, something possibly more cringe-worthy has taken place.
Janay Rice has issued a statement on Instagram that defended her husband and criticized the media for making her suffer and making their lives worse. Many, including myself, find her words saddening. How can someone who was knocked unconscious by their husband, now defend him and condemn others for being outraged by it?
When news like this is leaked, the public reacts strongly. Domestic violence is a sensitive subject and many people hope that these horrible situations will get better after being made public. Even though this may have been invasive for the Rice family, it is important that these situations are exposed so hopefully, help can be found. This is a serious subject that unfortunately has been downplayed by Janay’s reaction. In her post, she blames the NFL for taking away her husbands career and says that the public is making her relive a mistake he made.
Instead of turning this situation into a lesson for other women or men that are experiencing domestic violence, she is simply referring to it as “mistake”. This lessens the seriousness of the situation and leads others to believe it is okay. This is neither the public’s nor the Raven’s fault for taking away Rice’s career. He made his choices and now must deal with the consequences of them.
This horrible crime should be viewed as a learning opportunity for others in the same position. This situation could have helped create a breakthrough for people dealing with domestic violence but by downplaying it, it has the possibility to encourage these crimes. I hope that this can be a wake up call for communities to realize how these crimes do not only affect the physical conditions of partners but also the psychological ramifications.