One Bad Night: That’s What They’re Calling Domestic Violence These Days

December 2, 2014  |  

“One bad night” was the takeaway phrase from Ray Rice’s exclusive interview on The Today Show with Matt Lauer. With his wife Janay, and both her parents by his side, Ray told Matt that he takes full responsibility for that “one bad night,” in which he knocked his then-girlfriend out cold in an elevator.

And he hopes to get a second chance.

In other domestic violence news, TMZ reports that Yung Berg of Love & Hip Hop Hollywood fame, and his girlfriend Masika Tucker, just reconciled after their “one bad day” last month, in which he hit her, dragged her by the hair, slammed her against the wall and started choking her.

Apparently, both Ms. Tucker and Mrs. Rice are willing to file these violent outburst under things that can happen on a bad day.

Jeez, you remember when a bad day with your man was having to sit through two back-to-back basketball games. Or, at worst, an argument over whether he was checking out the chick walking out of the movie theater? These couples take it to a whole new level.

Exactly when did getting beaten by your man turn into a ‘bad day?’

Honestly, it was a sore spot to an otherwise decent interview with Ray and Janay on The Today Show–the first since his lifetime ban from football was recently over-turned.

Now, do we believe that he never hit Janay before the incident, like they both told Matt? It’s possible that he didn’t, however one could assume that their verbal arguments probably caused a few close encounters with actual physical violence. Perhaps the days in which he wanted to knock her out and didn’t were considered the “good” days.

To be somewhat fair to Ray and Janay, and even Yung Berg and Masika, let’s just explore the question. Is it possible for a couple with no prior history of physical violence to have such a bad day?

You pose the question to domestic violence activist, Sil Lai Abrams, a frequent contributor to CNN and MSNBC, and her response: “It’s highly unlikely. But you’re asking the wrong question. Has he abused her verbally or financially? He may not physically abuse her but he may be abusive in every other way.”

It makes sense that Ray has a history of abuse if not physical. He even said in his interview with Matt that he’s learned a lot about himself since the couple’s immediate entry into therapy following the elevator incident, and he’s grateful for the support of Janay’s parents.

Perhaps the next big question is: Is it possible that Ray Rice is a changed man and does he deserve a second chance?

Well, boiling that incident down to a bad day definitely raises some flags. Like, who is his PR person? Someone put in a call to Olivia Pope and QUICK.

But still, one would like to think that the combination of therapy, being fired from his football team, the scorn of a nation, the hawk-like eyes of Janay’s parents and even his beautiful young daughter, would be enough for him to actually change. Really though, only time will tell, but can’t we give him a second chance? At least he seems to be trying to put his best foot forward.

As for Yung Berg and Masika, no word yet on what he’s done to better himself since assaulting his girlfriend and getting fired from his show, so all one can really say is, hopefully she’s taking some self-defense classes.

Anyway, hopefully both couples will get it together.

Erickka Sy Savane is a freelance writer and creator of THE BREW, a social commentary blog. Before that she was a model/actress/MTV VJ. Follow her on Twitter.

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