Why does it always take something publicly disturbing to catch our awareness about something that is happening privately every single day in our country? Yes I am talking about Domestic Violence. An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year and historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew. (NCADV.org).
Yes, I am referring to the former Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice. CNN reported today that, “(CNN) — Running back Ray Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL on Monday, the same day a shocking video surfaced showing the NFL star knocking out his future wife with a punch in February (See full article at http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/08/us/ray-rice-new-video/index.html?hpt=hp_t1)
If everyone remembers back in February, Mr. Rice was given a 2 game suspension for domestic violence. He even got a press conference to tell the world how sorry he was for what he had done and said that his actions were “inexcusable.” The Judicial System seemed to agree as well as they did not file any formal charges against him for assault. I sat and shook my head that day and thought, “this is the exact reason why domestic violence is often looked at in the courts as only being a family matter that should be solved between the two people involved in the domestic dispute.” I guess beating your wife is still not a crime in this country? I wonder if the Judge may have ruled differently if he saw the TMZ tape or if Ray Rice was not a professional football player. I will let you answer that for yourself.
Goodell, commissioner of football said after the first video was released that, “ the league had fallen short of its goals in its handling of the Rice case: “We allowed our standards to fall below where they should be and lost an important opportunity to emphasize our strong stance on a critical issue and the effective programs we have in place.” “I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better.” http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/08/us/ray-rice-new-video/index.html?hpt=hp_t1
Goodwell seems to be right about one thing and that is the fact that we do have to do better. As a society we have to do better for women who are being abused every single day. We have to do a better job of sending messages to our young men in the world about domestic violence and teach them that there are serious repercussions for hitting a woman. We also have to do a better job in professional sports of setting a good example for our children who look up to many of these football players. The last thing we want to hear from our kids mouths is “Ray Rice did it so it’s okay to hit a woman.”
Dr. Sue Cornbluth
Nationally Recognized Expert in Parenting and Childhood Trauma