“At core, men are afraid women will laugh at them, while at core, women are afraid men will kill them.” – Gavin de Becker
In all of the media attention to the conduct of Ravens running back Ray Rice and of the NFL in response to an episode of domestic violence, one important element is missing – the victim. No one seems concerned that a woman who was knocked out cold by a punch to the face would marry the perpetrator of such violence a month later.
It’s no surprise to me that Janay Rice would defend her husband and ask that their family be left alone. Abused women often go to great lengths to protect their abusers – especially when there are children involved. And I am disturbed that she publicly apologized for the part she played in the so-called altercation. Unless she had been beating Rice with a blunt instrument or holding a gun on him, there was no justification for such a brutal attack.
I hope that this was an isolated incident in their relationship. I hope that whatever counseling and anger management techniques the couple has received are effective. Most of all, I pray that their young daughter is raised in a loving, nonviolent atmosphere. It is said that “the sins of the father will be visited upon the son.” The perpetuation of domestic violence into the next generation is one of the most insidious aspects of this widespread problem.
Time will tell for the Rice family. Maybe the media attention and Rice’s suspension from the NFL will give abused persons the courage to come forward and break the cycle of violence. The dignity of the human person demands that all people, male and female, children and adults, be able to live in an atmosphere free from violence at the hands of those they love.