Yesterday TMZ released a video of American Football star, Ray Rice beating his then wife, Janay Palmer. The video showed Ray slamming Janay into the ground and kicking her several times. Ray was then shown dragging Janay out of the elevator by her arms, while she tried to regain consciousness. This tape was horrifically violent and my initial reaction was obviously sympathy, but also disappointment toward some media outlets which focused more on the perpetrator instead of the victim’s welfare.
Following the release of this video something powerful resulted, something awakening. Men and women began taking to Twitter to share their experiences of abuse, resulting in the hashtag #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft. Courageous survivors of physical and emotional abuse gave us insight into the psychological dynamics which go on and described some of the torment which they were subjected to. The tweets sparked many other men and women to come forward and the insight that they have shared with us thus far is going a long way into raising awareness.
The hashtag has developed into a positive conversation and is giving many men and women an opportunity to speak up about their ordeal.
To anyone currently in an abusive situation, I hope you are encouraged by the following tweets and that you are able to find your own strength from these testimonies and leave.
Below are some examples of theTweets courtesy of Sanna Arman
— lucida_console (@lucida_console) September 9, 2014
#whyistayed because he isolated me from friends and family and I had no one to turn to when the abuse started
— Lady Grim (@grim_mandy) September 9, 2014
#whyistayed I didn’t think I was a victim because I fought back
— Brittany (@skinnney) September 8, 2014
If you would like to talk to anyone on this issue, please contact Refuge:
United Kingdom: Contact the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline on
0808 2000 247
United States: http://www.thehotline.org