All Articles Tagged "domestic violence"

Victim Blaming And The Cycle Of Domestic Abuse

September 10th, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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victim blaming feat

I understand that domestic abuse is something that is hard for people to understand, especially those who have never been a victim of it.  Even for the people who might have grown up witnessing an abusive cycle with their parents can grow up slightly jaded, or even worse, continue the destructive patterns that played out in front of them into adulthood.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.  So this part of the article will be dedicated to the 75% who can’t empathize with the 25%.

I’m not going to pretend that I know for sure that Shantel Jackson was telling the truth.  I’m not going to pretend that I know why Janay Palmer went ahead and married Ray Rice after that horrifying encounter in the elevator.  But I do know that each of these situations illustrate the cycle of abuse that many women go through.

The thing that bothers me is that people are almost putting blame on these women, saying things like:  “Well, it wasn’t that bad when she was getting those shoes and purses,” and “She married him for the money,” comments.  The problem with that is, if that’s their reasoning, then what’s the reasoning behind 1.8 million other women, whose spouses and husbands aren’t millionaires?  What are the excuses for the women who make more than their significant other, but stay with an abusive mate?  What’s their excuse?

What most people don’t understand is that domestic abuse happens in cycles.  For some, it’s not the Hollywood portrayed situation of being beat every single day.  Most of the times it starts off with isolation.

The abuser will systematically separate you from people you love, and those who love you back.  Once you feel like you have no one else but that person, you tend to placate them, and try to do what you can to make sure that you’re not putting yourself in a position for them to leave you, because essentially, you have no one else. That’s how the abuser makes you feel.

Then, there’s that explosive event that happens.  Whether it’s physical, emotional, verbal, or all three, it happens and the victim is left trying to care for their physical, mental and/or emotional bruises.

But after that, here comes the abuser, with a seemingly sincere apology and sometimes a gift.  Along with the apology comes an excuse, and possibly blame on the victim: “Well, if you hadn’t have done/said [insert bullshit excuse here] then I wouldn’t have hurt you.”.

Finally, there’s a calm.  Things go back as if they are normal.  You feel like what you saw in the heat of the moment wasn’t the person that you were in love with, just a horrible vision that will never emerge again.   However, because you’re already isolated from other people, and fear that once you finally do talk to someone, you’re going to get blamed anyway.  So you try to stick it out because he seemed really genuine this time.  Thus continuing the cycle.

The point of this is, no matter how fake some people felt that Shantel Jackson’s complaints were, or why Janay went back to Ray, both of these women’s relationships are completely indicative of the millions of women who face this situation every single day.  They were coddled into believing that things would be different, and it was only a mistake.  They believed that the men that they fell in love with were still there, under the icy glares of the monsters who were abusing them.  They held out hope that change would come, and sadly, many women die at the hands of their abusers, because the change never did.

Now, for the 25% of women who do empathize, but still have something horrible to say, how dare you?  Women like Erica Mena who we’ve seen cry on reality television relaying her stories of abuse and then when Shantel Jackson does the same, she wants to label it “The thirst.”  Word?

What about Josie Harris, who expresses that first hand she knows how it feels to be abused by Mayweather, but she’s antagonizing Jackson?  Really?

Women, we’ve got to do better.  Abuse punishes the victim while exalting the abuser.  So it’s hard for me to ever understand how another woman who has been hurt by the hands of a man can dare put another woman down when she’s in the place that she used to be in.

It’s disgusting.

But maybe I’m foolish for thinking that these victims shouldn’t be vilainized.  Maybe I’m in the wrong for seeing the horrible pattern that these women are going through, and see why it’s so hard for them to leave?  Maybe I’m too idealistic to expect the public to have a sense of decency to not shame women when they finally tell their stories, which eventually pushes them back into the arms of the abuser who was telling them:  “See, I told you no one was going to believe you/ understand you/ care about you.”

I might be dumb for caring too much, but I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t.


Is Our Support A Sign Of Forgiveness Or Enabling? 10 Celebrities Accused Of Domestic Abuse

September 9th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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The past 48 hours have been a social media field day after TMZ released the video of now-fired Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his wife during their physical altercation earlier this year. This video has caused an outcry about why the NFL and Ravens franchise waited to give Rice the boot. It also sparked discussions about domestic violence and accountability. Should our intolerance for such behavior and call for consequences be equal across the board, or can forgiveness be found with time? Here’s a look at celebrities accused of domestic violence who we still support.

Tamar Braxton Tackles Domestic Violence Rumors

September 9th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: Corbis Images

Source: Corbis Images

Tamar Braxton and Vincent Herbert’s constant bickering is nothing new to reality TV fans, but apparently, there were some rumors floating around that their fights frequently become physical behind the scenes. During a recent interview with Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, the “Hot Sugar” singer tackled the reports head-on.

“Now, they’re also trying to put out these rumors that you and Vince get into these drag-down fights. And I read that on a couple of different sites. Do you want to address that?” Angela Yee asked.

“Where do they come from?” Tamar asked. “I ain’t that chick. We ain’t getting ready to just guff everyday, like. No, I ain’t got time for that. I’m booked.”

Speaking of domestic violence, the hosts questioned Tamar about her thoughts on the Ray Rice controversy and whether or not she would go back to Vince if he hit her.

“I can’t see it and you know what. The reason why I can’t is because I’ve been an abusive relationship before, like a for real, for real abusive relationship. I am not that girl who you’re just going to hit on. So when people ask me those questions or allegedly say things like that it’s just like, ‘Chile sit down and have several seats because, no.'”

As for the divorce rumors that never seem to go away for long, Tamar had this to say:

“They all do [want my man] honey. They act like they don’t, but they do. It’s the truth.”

“I mean, we argue, yes,” she continued. “It’s a lot to argue about. Number one: we work together. Number two: he’s my husband. Number three: he’s my baby daddy. We have a lot to argue about. But you know, at the end of the day that’s my best friend. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him, you know, and that’s it.”

The “Real” host went on to say that she doesn’t get too bent out of shape when people gossip about them, adding that what actually bugs her is when “heifers say stuff that don’t know me.”

Watch Tamar’s full interview below.

My Ex-Husband Punched Me On Our Wedding Day And I Still Married Him

September 9th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Source: Corbis

Source: Corbis

From The Frisky

My ex-husband was the most romantic person I’ve ever met. He also hit me on the day we got married, while I was wearing my wedding dress.

That’s why when I saw the footage of ex-Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée Janay Palmer, I wasn’t surprised that she was now his wife. It isn’t — as many of the commenters on the original TMZ video have said — “all about the money,” or “she doesn’t care about taking a punch,” and it’s especially not that “she is telling all women it’s okay for your man to beat you.”

Domestic violence is so much more complicated than a lack of money, or not having self-respect, or feeling like it’s OK for your man to beat up on you. I’m not an expert on what makes women stay in abusive relationships or even marry their abuser. But I did both of these things and I can speak to my particular story.

I’m from a very conservative Christian background, so when I met my husband (let’s call him Hank) he seemed like God’s gift to my life. I hadn’t dated much in high school and I had just dropped out of Bible college because I ran out of money. I was working and living in the small town where my school was located, and Hank showed up at my church looking extremely dapper in his neatly trimmed beard and dark blue suit.

He wasn’t rich but he had a good job and spent all that spring sweeping me off my feet. It was as if he had watched a million romantic movies to inform his game. He brought flowers and chocolates like a normal guy, but he worked extra hard to make sure it was clear he wanted me. Notes. Phone calls. Phone messages. He wrote “I love you” in the dirt on the back of my car, took a photo and then washed my car for me. He often mailed cards to my apartment even though we lived less than a mile apart. They came heavily scented with his cologne.

The cologne started the part of my story that is much harder to tell.

One Saturday afternoon a few months after our first date, I opened one of the cards and then smelled it as he beamed on proudly. I sniffed and joked “like a woman” because he was the first man I ever knew to send a scented envelope.

I know it’s a cliche, but if I close my eyes, I can still see that moment in slow motion. His face changed from beaming to furious. And suddenly, I was on the floor. It wasn’t until he extended his hand down to me saying, “Oh baby I am so sorry! Why did you have to say that? I’m so sorry!” that I realized I was on the floor because his fist had put me there. I actually thought for a second that a piece of the ceiling must have fallen down. Surely Hank couldn’t have hit me? That was something that happened to other people.

Hank dove into what I now know is the cycle of abuse, but what then just seemed like a cycle of passion. He ushered me to the couch and got an ice pack for my face. He kissed my forehead. He had this strange yet very convincing way of talking about how he had hit me: he spoke in passive voice, as if the violence just happened, as if he had nothing whatsoever to do with it. “Oh, so sorry you’re bruised up,” he said to me that night.

It was an absurd thing to say, but he said it while he curled his body against mine, smoothed my hair, kissed me gently. He would even kiss me on the bruises themselves, like an indulgent parent smooching away imaginary boo boos. It was overwhelming and intoxicating. In some ways, it made me fall for him more. Look at how much he cared for me!

Finish the story on

Ray Rice Dropped From Nike, Madden And NFL Apparel Shop

September 9th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Ray Rice Dropped From Nike


When it rains it pours. Not only was Ray Rice fired from the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely from the NFL, all of his endorsement deals are crumbling around him.

First, the Baltimore Ravens organization tweeted that if fans, who’d purchased his jersey, would like to exchange it, they can do so.

His jersey has also been pulled off the shelves at Dick’s Sporting Goods and Modells and is no longer available on the NFL’s official website.

Then, Nike confirmed to ESPN that they’ve severed their endorsement deal with Rice just today. Before he was terminated, Nike used Rice this past January to unveil its cold weather gear. Nike, who is the official apparel provider for the league, rarely severs its contracts with athletes. Only Lance Armstrong, Justin Gaitlin and Michael Vick have ever had their contracts revoked before.

The company has also suspended their contract with South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius because of the pending case in the death of his girlfriend, whom he shot and killed.

Earlier today, Fox News reported that Rice will be removed from the popular “Madden NFL 15″ game. Rice already appears on the game which was released on August 26 but he will be edited out in a Week 1 update and will not appear on the Ravens team or as a free agent.

It was later confirmed by USA Today.

Unfortunately, a person’s pockets and even reputation has to be negatively affected before they realize the severity of their actions and make an effort to seek help to address the dysfunction. Here’s hoping that this is the wake up call to Ray Rice and other men who abuse women.

Janay Palmer Releases Statement On Elevator Video Leak, Defends Husband: ‘We Will Continue To Show The World What Real Love Is!’

September 9th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: IG

Source: IG

Yesterday, a major missing piece to the Ray Rice domestic violence saga was revealed when TMZ released footage from the hotel elevator where the troubled NFL star punched his wife, knocking her out cold. Shortly after the shocking reveal, Ray’s contract was terminated by the Baltimore Ravens and he was suspended indefinitely by the league. Today, the woman at the center of it all, Ray’s wife Janay, is speaking out and her reaction is quite troubling. In an apparent attempt to defend her husband, she slams media outlets and blames them for taking “all of the happiness away” from her family.

“I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “Feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend. But to have to accept the fact that it’s reality is a nightmare in itself. Nobody knows the pain that the media and unwanted attention options [opinions] from the public has caused my family. To make us a relive a moment that we regret everyday is a horrible thing.

To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his a** off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific. THIS IS OUR LIFE. What don’t you all get. If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels. Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is! Ravensnation we love you!”


Sadly, her statement appears to reflect the Baltimore Ravens’ initial reaction to the incident, which was that Janay is also to blame for the altercation.

Sources: Twitter, Corbis Images

Sources: Twitter, Corbis Images

After the new footage leaked, the 4-month-old tweet was removed from the Ravens Twitter account, but not before fans began blasting the organization for it.


I Didn’t Need A Video Tape To Tell Me That Ray Rice Was Guilty But Thank God For It

September 9th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Ray Rice publicly apologizes to his wife, Janay Palmer, for Valentine's Day assault.

Source: AP

I didn’t need to see the video of Ray Rice knocking out his wife in an elevator to know that he was dead-ass wrong. Period.

But I watched it anyway and I shared it on my page for others to watch it because, unfortunately, we live in a world where violence against women is so commonplace and too often encouraged. And without the visual proof of it, many of us don’t know it is wrong too.

And now after watching this video, I’m even more incensed.

I’m incensed at Ray for spitting in her face, swinging on her twice and dragging her damn near lifeless body out of the elevator with little regard. What he did was wrong and inexcusable. And we should always remember that. He seems to recognize that – or at least his public statements makes assurances that he has since learned to keep his hands to himself. Hopefully, he is willing to get some serious help for his issues with women. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t.

The reality is that there is no incentive for him to really change other than a sheer and intentional desire to do so.

I mean it’s not like the Ravens organization and the entire NFL was willing to hold him accountable (at least prior to the release of the video evidence). Not after that pitiful two game suspension as well as sponsoring this flat-out ridiculous press conference, in which Ray was not only forced to apologize to everybody for his actions, but also his wife. The Ravens organizations made sure we all saw her complacency in her beat down, when during the press conference it tweeted out:

Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.”

Oh, and don’t forget the Ravens organization’s original flimsy plausible-culpability response to the release of the elevator beating that they hadn’t seen it. Of course, they also admitted that they had heard Ray’s side of it and it pretty much was aligned with what we saw on the video, so therefore what is the Raven’s excuse again for failing to take adequate action prior to release of the tape? There really isn’t any other than the age old adage of: money over hoes. Thankfully, there is the video or else they might been able to get away with completely sweeping this under the rug.

And it’s not like sports commentators, pundits, fans and other grown men, who should know got-damn better like Stephen A Smith will hold him accountable either. Remember, it was Smith who told us that women shouldn’t put themselves in positions to be beat on. However, what we see in that video was not self-defense. Nor did it look like he exercised the least bit of restraint. Nope, what we saw on that video was a nearly 212-pound professional athlete, following a woman half his weight into an elevator with the intentions of assaulting her. So if her “position” is breathing next to a man, then I’m not really certain what these men expect women to do?

Hell, the general public is not even going to hold him accountable. That’s the sense I get around water coolers, comment sections and social media networks alike, where common folks of both sides of the gender believe that Janay brought it on herself for allegedly being drunk and physically provoking an unavoidable confrontation. Now we (and by “we” I mean “you all”) see the tape and learned that the exact opposite happened, folks have still found a way to hold her culpable. I mean how can she not be guilty, she married and is still with him, right?

Wrong. Very.

It took my mother a long time to leave. Even when she had gotten to the point of self-love and realizing that my abusive and drug-addicted stepfather was not going to change, there was still preparation to be done before she was in a position to actually feel like she could do so. The preparation like the answering questions: who was going to let our family of three plus a cat stay with them in the temporary and where might we stay in the permanent? How would she pay bills for two children on her own? And how could she make this transition as safe as possible so that there was little harm to her and to her children?

I remember Mom sitting my brother, who was 8 years old, and I, who was around 12 years old at the time, down at the kitchen table and telling us only a portion of the escape plan: as soon as he left for work, we would take what we could fit into her small hatchback and disappear into the night. What day and time this was supposed to happen was classified information as she said she could risk us (mainly little brother who was attached to my stepdad) accidentally spilling the beans. When it did come, it was a summer evening one month solid after the conversation. As we pulled away from the place I had called home for the final time, I remember sitting in the front seat of my mother’s car, pissed, because this was the last time I would see my friends and many of my personal items, which couldn’t fit into the car. We would spend the next year or so, living in the two bedroom apartment with my grandmother and uncle and before our great aunt let Mom rent a small and badly worn down house. We were safe from harm and my stepdad’s other destructive ways but financially and emotionally, it was a struggle – and I’m putting that lightly.

I share that story in confidence as my family’s experience is very reflective of national statistics, which tells us that on average, it takes victims of domestic seven times to leave her abuser. And as the website for the National Domestic Violence Hotline points out, those reasons vary: from financial to actual fear of harm to themselves and their children, community and family pressure to “work things out,” religious observations, physical and mental disabilities (because the rate of domestic violence among those two populations is very high), and of course financial – as men who abuse physically, also tend to abuse in other ways, including controlling household finances and even a woman’s ability to maintain employment.

No, my victim blaming pains in the butt, leaving an abuser is never easy. And as a matter of statistics, 75 percent of women who are killed in domestic relationship are killed while actually escape. To the contrary, it takes lots of nerve, courage and financial freedom for women to claim their independence. And that’s what we should be offering Janay (and other women like her) instead of our condemnation. Of course, that’s not what is happening.

And ultimately what this video has once again shown is exactly how dangerous it is to be a woman, as well as to raise girl children in this society. We lady folks live in a world where people will stand aside and watch you get fucked up and people will come to the defense of the abuser. A world that values the final score of a game more than the safety and justice for their fellow human being. A world where folks would rather believe that it is greed and financial gain as opposed to financial vulnerability, which might motivate Janay to stay.

Worse, we live in a world, which treats women, who point out and push back against this absurdity of this dangerous woman-hating thinking, as crazy or the actual problem. I’m talking about the whole “that’s the way men are, women should know better…” camp. As we know, worse than being an accuser is being the person, who actually points out the abuse and says it is wrong. Well now, you are just being a divisive feminist.

That’s because we live in a world, which teaches us to protect men at all cost, even if it’s at the expense of our own bodies. And considering this is the kind of world in which we have created for women to navigate through and around, it is easy to see why men like Ray would feel less compelled to change and women like Janay less confident to leave – at least on their own. Thank God for video cameras and TMZ though. There is just no denying that.



Ray Rice Cut By Baltimore Ravens, Suspended By NFL Indefinitely

September 8th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Earlier today, we reported on the disturbing elevator footage, which shows NFL star Ray Rice punching his wife Janay Palmer in the face, knocking her out cold. Shortly after the footage was released, league reps released a statement explaining that they did not see the actual footage of Ray punching Janay prior to imposing a 2-game penalty on the 27-year-old star for his actions.

“We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today,” said league spokesman Brian McCarthy.

After reviewing the footage, the Baltimore Ravens announced their decision to terminate Ray’s contract, ESPN reports. He had three years left on the contract and was scheduled to earn $4 million this season, $3 million next season and another $3 million for the 2016 season. The league has also announced via that Ray has been suspended indefinitely based on the new video evidence.

Ray Rice cut by Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by NFL following release of elevator footage.

Source: Corbis Images

In other Ray Rice news, one “Fox & Friends” panelist is in hot water after he decided to make a disgusting joke about the horrifying footage.

“The message is: take the stairs!” Brian Kilmeade said as fellow panelist Anna Kooiman released a slight chuckle while offering an uncomfortable glare.

Considering all that has happened, it’s unclear why Brian felt that it was okay to joke about such a serious subject on national television.

[Watch] Disturbing Footage Of Ray Rice Knocking Out Fiancee Leaked, NFL Responds

September 8th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Sources: Corbis Images, TMZ

Sources: Corbis Images, TMZ

Update 10:19 AM: League reps say that they did not see footage of Ray punching Janay until today, TMZ Sports reports.

“We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today,” said a NFL spokesperson.


Back in February, we told you about Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice, who was arrested after he was discovered by a hotel employee dragging his unconscious fiancée, Janay Palmer, out of an elevator at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City. The discovery came after the troubled couple had a fight, which resulted in Ray knocking Janay out cold. Both parties were arrested. Just days after the incident, footage of Ray dragging an unresponsive Janay out of the elevator leaked to the Internet, leaving many of us shuddering at the thought of what had actually occurred inside of the elevator.

The casino where the incident occurred recently shut down and unsurprisingly, footage of the actual elevator assault was sent to TMZ Sports. The video opens with Ray and Janay exchanging words in the hotel lobby and then getting into the elevator together. Once inside, the two exchange words. Then, Ray delivers two punches to Janay’s face, with the second one causing her to fall and hit her head on the way down. The video also captured Ray dragging Janay once the elevator cars stops on their floor. The entire thing is extremely disturbing.

One hotel employee who says he was working the night of the altercation revealed that NFL officials actually saw the elevator footage before they imposed the extremely light 2-game suspension on Ray. So far, the league has not offered comment on the leaked footage, but some are already pressuring them to ban the 27-year-old from the NFL for life. As you may recall, Ray and Janay married shortly after the incident. He was also able to avoid serving time behind bars after being accepted into a pretrial intervention program.

Footage of the attack can be found on the next page.

And Another One: Jets Rookie Quincy Enunwa Arrested Following Domestic Violence Incident

September 4th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Last Friday, we told you that the NFL announced that they would be enforcing stricter penalties for players who get caught up in domestic violence episodes. Less than a week later, two players have been collared for violent crimes against women. Monday, we told you that 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald had been arrested and accused of fighting his pregnant fiancée. Now, Jets rookie Quincy Enunwa has also been arrested for finding himself in a similar situation.

According to the New York Post, officers responded to a call at the Wyndham Hamilton Park Hotel in New Jersey. It’s reported that the 22-year-old was arrested after he allegedly roughed up a female companion during a fight. Enunwa was taken into custody and transported to a nearby station where he was charged with simple assault. He was later released without bail. TMZ has reported that the alleged victim’s injuries were minor and that she did not need medical attention. It’s still unclear why the pair were fighting.

The NFL is already aware of the incident and will be reviewing details regarding the case  to determine whether or not the practice squad player will be penalized under the league’s new policy.

“It will be reviewed under the policy,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.

“I’m aware of the situation, but it’s a pending legal matter so I’m not going to comment on it,” added Jets coach Rex Ryan.

Enunwa also spoke out regarding his arrest, but declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding the incident.

“I spoke to people in the building. The decisions made were made,” he said. “It’s a pending legal matter. Nobody is holding it against me until we find out everything that is going on.”

The identity of the alleged victim has not been revealed.