Before I share my thoughts, I want to preface this blog by stating the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7, FREE and is completely anonymous. Just call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). If you aren’t sure if what you are going through is abuse…it probably is if you are even questioning…but here are the signs of what abuse is. You can also chat if you feel it is unsafe to call. Also, please know your friends and family are there to help you–even if your abuser tells you otherwise.
I was not totally aware of everything about Baltimore Raven Ray Rice and fiancé (now wife) Janay’s situation until today. I stumbled on what I thought was a video talking about it and it was the graphic video of him knocking her out. I was disgusted at what I saw because I didn’t feel it was my place to watch such a horrific situation. Since, it’s all over the news. But at the same time some part of me hopes something good comes out of this now that the issue of domestic violence literally has a global visual of what physical abuse looks like. And the emotional abuse too.
For one, I hope Janay realizes this was not her fault, doesn’t believe any lies her now husband may have made her believe and leaves Ray Rice. Second, I hope any person, man or woman, in an abusive relationship of any kind (emotional or physical) gets the courage to leave. Whether it was years ago, or today, abusive of any kind is unacceptable.
I was sitting here tonight watching Anderson Cooper on CNN and they had a panel on discussing the situation and it’s sickening the NFL could suspend a player for a year over marijuana but only for two games for hitting a woman. Literally knocking her to the ground unconscious. As the social media storm took over today, as things currently stand Ray is suspended indefinitely. But I almost feel the NFL felt they had no other choice since there was visual evidence. More than just the image of her beaten face. That is sad.
I think the issue of domestic violence is easily pushed under the rug because the abuser is able to convince the other person it’s all the other person’s fault. They tell them they may deserve it. They downplay how bad it is and isolate the person they are controlling to the point where they are so far removed from family, friends, etc. Then it’s easy for the person being abused to feel they are a burden to their loved ones. Not good enough. It’s so sad.
In 2007 one of my very close friends found out the traumatizing news that a girl was brutally beaten, murdered and had her body dismembered. The person that did this to the girl was my friend’s boyfriend’s roomate. The victim’s boyfriend placed her body parts in trash bags then placed them all around Indianapolis. Sickening.
That’s tough for you to hear, I’m sure. That’s tough for me to type and even imagine, even just knowing how traumatizing that was for my friend, let alone the reality of the situation for the victim, her family and her friends. But that’s the realization of domestic violence that people think “Oh that would never be me. My significant other loves me. They would never do that to me.” Even if it doesn’t end in murder, as the picture I found above states: Domestic violence violates human rights.
The girl we lost that day due to domestic violence was Heather Norris, who at the time was 20. She was dating Josh Bean, her high school boyfriend. He received the maximum sentence of 68 years in prison for the brutal crime.
Since this tragic event, Heather’s family created “Heather’s Voice” to bring awareness to educate teens about domestic abuse–but it’s also something anyone being abused can seek help from.
That’s the key–seek help. I found this portion from the “Heather’s Voice” website to be powerful and hope anyone that can even check one of these boxes to seek help.
If you’re interested in learning more about Heather’s story and her family and friend’s efforts via Heather’s Voice, please check out the website. They are also holding a 5K run/walk on October 11, 2014 to raise awareness, so if you are in the Indianapolis area, please be sure to check out.
Also, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7, FREE and is completely anonymous. Just call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
You aren’t alone. They say they love you, but if you do not have control of your life or ever live in fear, it’s not love. It’s control. It’s abuse. You deserve better. You deserve more. You deserve to live. You deserve the world. You deserve to be free. Hurting you–whether it is through their actions or even just words is wrong. They may say they will change, but they won’t. Please, don’t be afraid reach out. Trust those that love you will save you and will be more than happy to. Even if your abuser tells you otherwise. They are lies to keep you with them. They will say or do anything to make you stay, but we need you here with us. We need for you to be happy. We need you safe. We are all here. We will save you. Just reach out your hand even just a little bit and we will take care of the rest.
The featured image used from The National Domestic Violence Facebook page.