Ray Rice and the Boy’s Club

NFL-DISGRACERay Rice beat his girlfriend. How insignificant that sentence sounds! The ugly truth is that domestic violence rages rampant behind closed doors of millions of households. Women still tell doctors that they fell down the stairs and walked into the door. Why? Because they are ASHAMED! They feel guilty and pathetic because when they leave they are going home.

“First time a victim, second time a volunteer”. In other words why are you still there? Why are you weak and stupid and pathetic?

As a society we must stop paying lip service to being appalled by domestic violence. The NFL paid lip service.  They banned Ray Rice for SiX DAYS and called it zero tolerance for gender based violence. Then they covered up the tape of a man brutally beating a defenceless women until she was senseless. That’s a slap on the hand. That’s THE BOYS CLUB. The words say “definitely not” but the actions say “well, that kind of thing can happen.”

Don’t ever say the words “first time a victim, second time a volunteer” because it commits the crime of simplifying a hugely complex issue to the point that it becomes distorted. Worse than failing to understand it makes the victim the culprit. The blame is placed squarely at her feet for handing herself up for this treatment.

Now that the video has been placed in the public eye the NFL cannot afford to be seen as doing exactly what they were doing – covering it up. Six days condones violence – let’s not call it anything other than what it is. Now the public outcry will dictate a zero tolerance ruling but for no other reason. Sadly the NFL are not alone in their reactions.

Women in abusive relationships need help to recognize the abuse. They need assistance to understand why they return, thick-lipped and bruised, into the arms of the abuser who they know will do it again. Do you think they are happy, and unconcerned? Do you think they have any idea why even as they are doing it? They are ashamed, embattled and broken in body and spirit.

People don’t condone domestic violence but in the small print is a silent, usually unspoken criticism that the victim is, at least in part, to blame for her predicament. That’s the elephant in the room.

We will not stand guilty of the crime of over-simplification in an effort to defend them. The dynamic between abuser and victim is a hugely complicated one. Any divorced or broken-hearted person knows how deep into our resources we dig to walk away from a relationship or marriage or to get up after you have been walked away from. Now try to imagine doing that when your confidence is in the sewer and your constant companion is shame. Your friends are sick of you and your constant returns to the abuser and your relationship with your family is tenuous to say the least. If you think the abuse starts and ends with a punch you are very wrong. The abuse has been relentless and insidious and corrosive to every aspect of that women’s life. She is a shell of her former self whatever she may appear on the surface.

Abused women are blamed and accused constantly – it is one of the characteristics of an abusive relationship. They blame themselves for everything they haven’t been blamed for. They feel responsible. They need to justify why they are still there. Janay Rice is quoted to have said she, “deeply regrets the role she played in the night of the incident”. This quote is a perfect example of the shame that women feel when they find themselves unable to extricate themselves from these relationships for reasons that they cannot explain – so they take the blame  for being beaten.

What Janay, is a good reason to be beaten? What could you have done that justified being beaten senseless?

At abuseendswhenyouloveyourself.com we aim to help women answer those questions – why me? Why am I still there? Why have I been there before? How will I recover? For those of you who are not in abusive relationships put that on the list of your blessings but never pay lip service to not condoning abuse. These women need your sincere and deep-rooted refusal to refuse to tolerate any form of violence – physical or psychological.

Well done to America for being up in arms! Not only did you refuse to allow the slap on the hand you have gone a long way in showing the youth that this behaviour is unacceptable. Abusers are bred not born.

Author, foodie, political junkie and currrently writing a series for children, giving bible stories a much needed makeover, free from religious dogma. Author of Hot Cuisine, a book written on men and food and co-wrote When Loving Him Hurts and The Affair.

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Posted in abuse, codependency, domestic violence, healing, relationships
One comment on “Ray Rice and the Boy’s Club

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