Opinion: There is a way out

Katie Smith is a senior public relations major and columnist for the Kent Stater. Contact her at ksmit138@kent.edu.

Katie Smith is a senior public relations major and columnist for the Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].

Katie Smith

 “No one knows the pain that (the) media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family,” states a post on Janay Rice’s Instagram.

If you’ve been in hiding the past few days, let me catch you up to speed. Former (as of Sept. 8, 2014) Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punched his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, in the face in an elevator at a casino in February. The video that originally came to light showed Ray dragging a limp Janay out of the elevator, and it wasn’t until Monday, Sept. 8, 2014 that TMZ released the graphic video depicting what actually happened in the elevator.

My question for Janay is, has the media caused you more pain than your husband or do you not remember the physical pain he caused you when he knocked you out cold?

If you haven’t seen the video, I wouldn’t recommend watching it. Ray’s contract with the Baltimore Ravens wasn’t terminated until the graphic video surfaced on TMZ even though the now-infamous elevator punch happened months prior.

The most confusing part about this is Janay and Ray were not yet married at the time of the incident – just engaged. Ray’s actions do more than sicken me. They make me think of domestic violence as a whole. Why do women stay?

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.” And even more shockingly, most cases are never reported to the police.

Janay clearly experienced domestic violence, yet she married Ray 24 hours after he was indicted on third degree aggravated assault charges for the elevator incident.

What makes this case even more awful is the couple has a 2-year-old daughter, Rayven. She will undoubtedly find out about the video at some point. What kind of message does this send to her?  

“To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his a** off [sic] for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific,” Janay’s Instagram post added. I disagree. Ray did this to himself, and I’m glad the National Football League upped his original two-game suspension to an indefinite suspension from the league.

Women everywhere, I hope you know you can do better, and there are resources to help get you out of an abusive relationship. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, please visit http://www.thehotline.org or call 1-800-799-7233.