Febuary 2014: Ray Rice is caught on an elevator security camera beating his then fiance, soon knocking her unconscious. More than a year later, the charges Janay Palmer laid on him – are dismissed. Rice paid $125 in fines and received anger management counselling before his trial. Was that enough to dismiss the charges against the former Baltimore Ravens star?

Janay Palmer still married Ray Rice after the incident, even defending her husband and condemning the media for their negative coverage. So with social media currently blowing up over the controversial decision to dismiss the charges, we should really be thinking about Janay Palmer, and the thousands of domestic abuse victims that continue to forgive the ones that abuse them, the victims that fail to come forward about their abuse, or the victims that unfortunately, don’t make it.

Statistics show that of the 15,029 people charged with assault in domestic violence cases from 2010 to 2013, 8,203 cases were dismissed or downgraded. Only 13 were found guilty. Of course, it’s safe to say that at least 80% of these cases don’t receive little to no media attention. An NFL football player caught on tape is just a mere exception. The video has over 11 million views on YouTube with comments that either condone Rice’s actions or blame Palmer, who is seen slapping her fiance before Ray simply ”hits her back.”

Instead of being furious over the dismissal, women should really look more in depth into the situation. No one knows what really happens between any couple; Ray Rice and his wife could be happily married since the incident for all we know. On the other hand, Janay Rice could also just be refusing to acknowledge what happened with the man who caused such a whirl wind in her life. And although making assumptions is wrong, failing to speak up is too.

15, 000 people were charged for their abuse, but thousands more roam free as there are victims that are too afraid to even take legal action. While Rice’s case may be dismissed and out of people’s minds within a few days, there are other cases that have yet to go to trial. Victims of domestic abuse shouldn’t lose hope over their situation. Speaking out is the first step. Campaigns such White Ribbon, Rose, or just telling a loved one can take you one step closer to living the life you deserve.


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