Ray Rice video puts domestic violence in the spotlight

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – In an elevator surveillance video, Ravens football player Ray Rice is seen with his then-fiance, Janay Palmer, and both are seen pushing each other, and then Rice punches her. She hits her head on the bar in the elevator, and is knocked unconscious.

“He could have killed her with a blow to the head”, says Griffin-Tabor. 

“He is so nonchalant, not checking her pulse. He’s not making sure she’s ok. It’s chilling,” she adds. 

The executive director of the Center for Community solutions, Verna Griffin-Tabor, says this does not look like a one time thing. But it takes some women a long time to leave an abusive relationship.

“Many times they don’t have resources to leave. They don’t know where they can go, are embarrassed, shamed that they’d be in this kind of relationship and want to believe it’s gonna get better,” says Griffin-Tabor.

In fact, a month after the elevator incident, Ray and Janay got married.

Rice was initially suspended fro two games by the NFL. He pleased not guilty to aggravated assault and avoided jail by agreeing to one year program that includes counseling.

Janine won’t watch the elevator video, but others should, she says, to know what goes on behind closed doors.

And now, a call for culture change.

A call for domestic violence agencies to partner with professional sports teams to do outreach and education.

“On the field they are asked to unleash that anger and strength,” says Griffin-Tabor.

Pressure from the public forced the NFL to make a decision.

Next up, stop blaming the victims.

“She’s a young lady who doesn’t know her value or worth and doesn’t realize there is someone who won’t hurt her while trying to love her,” says Janine Lee. 

Janine Lee counsels women who are in abusive relationships. She encourages them to reach out to find out what the resources are so they no longer have to live in shame and silence.

The CCS Domestic Violence 24 hour hotline is: (888) 385- 4657, or you can visit: www.ccssd.org.

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