I am not going to post the video here. Haven't seen it? Google it.
I had never heard of Ray Rice before this incident. Those I can name are many domestic violence perpetrators in Southern California not named Ray Rice. Why? Because I represent the victims, sometimes pro-bono, within my family law firm that obtains restraining orders for the abused who have escaped or need protection. Victims aren't isolated to one gender. But they are often girlfriends, wives, mothers, sometimes practically children themselves and frequently with no place to go and scared to hell.
Reading and hearing the reaction to the Ray Rice video of him punching, knocking unconscious and dragging his then-fiancé, now wife, Janay Palmer out of an elevator in an Atlantic City casino tells me the media, ill-informed posing as pundits and the general public still think the focus of domestic violence prevention is the abuser.
Ray Rice should spend time behind bars and you shouldn't care what happens to his football career. It's irrelevant.
What you should be focused upon, which nobody seems to give a damn about, is how Janay Palmer got to this point, in an abusive relationship, as a girlfriend, fiancé, now wife and perhaps one day, mother with Ray Rice as the father and role model for a young mind's highly impressionable blank canvas.
You think this was an isolated incident? Anyone ask?
How much emotional abuse has Janay endured?
How many times has Ray Rice pushed her, grabbed her, hit her, intimidated and frightened her?
To whom, if anyone, did she report any past incidents or the most recent and now infamous elevator one? Her mother? Father? Siblings? Friends? What did they say? What did they do?
These are the questions you should be asking and to which you must demand answers.
These are the questions whose answers will enlighten, instruct, set a foundational knowledge for past, present and future victims of domestic violence to learn from the experience of others like them and to help these victims avoid repeating the mistakes that trap them in abusive relationships because they lack the self-respect, resources and/or empowerment necessary to get out and get help.
But what am I writing here? Of course, the NFL's actions, suspension, when they knew about the video, Ray Rice's apology and narcissistic diatribe should really be the focus here, right?
Let's all channel our energy on that while Janay and other abuse victims consider standing by their abuser's side, walking back into their arms, entrenching themselves further into a perpetual cycle and this entire incident, like so many others before it, teaches her, you and society nothing about domestic violence education and prevention.