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The Tale of Two Women

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He pushed your head with his finger. He grabbed your arm and told you don’t walk away from him.  He told you that you spend too much time at your sister’s house.  He asked why you smiled at the male clerk in Walmart.  Subtle though some may think these to be, these are signs of control that could lead to domestic violence.

After seeing the full video of Ray Rice landing a punch so hard that it knocked then girlfriend now wife, Janay Palmer into the hand rail and unconscious, I felt as if I wanted to throw up.  I watched as Rice dragged Ms. Palmer out of the elevator and dropped her to the floor sans shoes and with her skirt up, exposing her lower body.

After the incident first made news, Rice was suspended for two games. It has since been announced that Rice’s contract with the Ravens has been terminated and suspended indefinitely.  I could go on all day about the blatant misogyny of the NFL due to the minuscule regard it had for the life of Ms. Palmer (because no one can tell me that they hadn’t seen the video before now).  I could rant all day about the side-ways commentary of Stephen A. Smith on a woman not provoking a man.  I could even blow a gasket about the idiotic people who keep saying that Janay spit on Rice first or that Tasha didn’t want help because she kept going back (btw, miss me with that bullsh*t),  but won’t because that is not what this post is about….today.

On today Tasha Thomas was buried after being killed by her estranged husband.  Charles Thomas was just out on a $15,000 bond after being arrested for crashing a baby shower that Tasha attended; screaming up and down the aisle looking for her.  Before that on August 20th Tasha reported to the police that she noticed her estranged husband following her.  She had a restraining order, but it didn’t matter because Tasha was killed by her estranged husband on August 25th while in the parking lot of her job.  After that Charles barricaded himself in the family home only to later walk out and kill himself in front of the police.  The other victims of this story are the nine and five year old girls that won’t have their mommy or daddy.

The problem with both of these stories is that in most cases of domestic violence, the victim goes back to the abuser.  The cycle of power and control seem to be so strong that the victim feels powerless to leave and never go back.  In Janay Palmer’s case, she married Rice just one month after the incident.  For Tasha, she according to family members went back to her husband even though he was abusive.

How can we help each other feel more empowered to walk away from detrimental situations?

It isn’t enough to just ask if a person is okay when we see evidence of something awry.  The draw to defend, stay with, and/or go back to the abuser is strong.  Most victims don’t feel understood and feel judged.

There has to be more that we can do.  We have to reach out with no judgment and a plan to help save a life. 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. 1 in 3 women will die at hands of their abuser.  What can we do to save the next life?

If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation, please call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.  Find a family member or friend that will listen and help you develop a plan to leave.  Your life is worth it.

 

The Domestic Violence Hotline

Domestic Violence.org

 

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