Rob Carr/Getty Images
Rob Carr/Getty Images
When the video of former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée (now wife) Janay Rice in the face so hard that he knocks her unconscious leaked online, the most disturbing thing was obviously the brutal actions of the NFL star against someone he claimed to love. But one of the other unsettling things about the situation was the fact that not only did Janay marry this man soon after that tragic incident, but her statement on Tuesday about her husband put the blame on the media, and not on Rice himself.
"No one knows the pain that [the] media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family," she wrote on her Instagram. "To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass [off] for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific."
Most people are quick to criticize Janay for staying with him, and a lot of people are calling her out for being a poor role model for other women in similar situations. But it's easy for people not in abusive relationships to judge and talk and shake their fingers and wag their tongues.
He told me I was average and that no other educated, successful man would want me, and I believed him #WhyIStayed? Capricorn Lady (@MsLAYOP) September 9, 2014
#whyistayed we were only married a month when he hit me the first time. I had a huge wedding. I thought: "what would ppl say if I leave now"? Rae (@Goddess_Rae) September 9, 2014
#whyistayed because he isolated me from friends and family and I had no one to turn to when the abuse started? Lady Grim (@grim_mandy) September 9, 2014
I thought no one would believe me. I believed the I'm sorry(s) & thought things would change. #whyistayed? TiffanyElle (@EpiphanyTC) September 9, 2014
#whyistayed I really thought it was my fault & it really would happen only the one time (it wasn't, it didn't)? Andrzej Jank. (@UNKEWLIOSO) September 9, 2014
#whyistayed Because when he said he was sorry, I trusted that meant it wouldn't happen again. Again. Again. Again. Again.? Katie Clark (@omgcornflakes) September 9, 2014
#whyistayed because I thought I was strong enough to fix things and make them better if I just tried harder, did more, and did it perfectly? CarmenMarstonFeinber (@marstonfeinberg) September 9, 2014
#whyistayed because anything was better than admitting failure. Admitting they were right about him.? Jaq's Phantom (@disposableJaq) September 9, 2014
#whyistayed because he said he would kill himself if I left? Jenny Martin (@JennyMartin_UQ) September 9, 2014
#whyistayed I lived in hope, it would get better. Nothing more dangerous is the power of hope. Make you or break you.? Seranna (@SerannaS) September 9, 2014
He said he was my first love and no one else would ever love me. #whyistayed? Keletso_si (@Ms_kellzz) September 9, 2014
#whyistayed because I was so good at pretending we were the happy couple. I began to believe it too.? Jessica Merrell (@jmillermerrell) September 9, 2014
#whyistayed When I disclosed to someone I trusted that I thought the next time I might die they said 'you have made your bed now lie in it'? Gemma Dunning (@gemmadunning) September 9, 2014
Because after years of emotional, verbal and physical abuse you believe you are unworthy of happiness. #whyistayed? Heather Nelson (@heatherlisa82) September 9, 2014
#whyileft I left when I realised I was living in constant fear of someone who "loved" me. Someone who treated me like a piece of trash.? Luna (@lunaluvbad) September 9, 2014
Because I finally saw I can make it without him #whyileft— Laura Renee (@Laura1985Renee) September 9, 2014
Because I wanted my baby niece to grow up to meet her aunt. And I knew I was at risk of that not happening. #whyileft— Andrea Abel (@AndreaRAbel) September 9, 2014
When I realized the only person who could protect me was me. #whyileft? JEM* (@jolielizabethx3) September 9, 2014
#whyileft seeing my son play while I was being beat I didn't want him to be like that? Janice Holt (@Niecern) September 9, 2014
#WhyILeft Because my broken bones would heal but my fear and pain would not.? Natasha Vianna (@NatashaVianna) September 9, 2014
I loved myself & kids enough #whyileft— Alyson Sterner (@alysterner) September 9, 2014
#whyileft it was that or kill myself and despite everything I still wanted to live? James Josiah (@donttelltales) September 9, 2014
#WhyILeft Because My mom was pinned down and bleeding, and told me to grab my brother and sister and run away as fast and far as we could.? Nuggetsauce (@nuggetsauce) September 9, 2014
I don't think you get to cheat death twice #WhyILeft? Dori Michelle (@DoriIsRad) September 9, 2014
#whyileft because when I told my dad I was locked in a bathroom to stay safe. & it broke his heart. I left for my Dad.? Lindsay Gilmore (@LindsayMGilmore) September 9, 2014
#whyileft, because I knew I was stronger and deserved more then what I believed.? Lisa (@lisalovesbooze) September 9, 2014
To the women who are participating in the #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft campaign: thank you for being so brave, so open and so inspiring. And hopefully women who are currently in abusive relationships will read your tweets and find strength in your honesty.