#whyistayed and #whyileft

whyistayed

This week’s surfacing of a video where Ray Rice is seen punching his then-fiancée resulted in his release from the Baltimore Ravens and indefinite suspension from the NFL. If you’ve seen the video, the punishment isn’t surprising.

To those unfamiliar with domestic violence, what has been more surprising is the reaction of his now-wife Janay.  Janay continued with her plans and married Ray after this particular event occurred. When the video of what happened in that elevator became public this week, Janay continued to support her husband and responded on Instagram saying, “…To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his *** of for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific.”

Why would she continue to support a man who assaulted her?

Sadly, many men and women who are survivors of domestic violence do just that and for a number of reasons.  Two important hashtags (#whyistayed and #whyileft) are trending on Twitter which are helpful in understanding why survivors leave and why they stay. Many of the statements are heart-wrenching:

Embarrassed by what my parents were going to think of me. #whyistayed

#WhyIStayed desperate for love in any form

I stayed  because my pastor told me that God hates divorce. It didn’t cross my mind that God might hate abuse, too. #WhyIStayed

He would have hunted me down #whyistayed

My daughter needed a father #WhyIStayed and then he hit her on the head with a butcher knife #WhyILeft

#WhyIStayed bc every apology sounded genuine

I was told marriage is forever. I didn’t want to be a failure. #whyistayed

Also heart-wrenching is the number of them which mention the church as a reason for staying in an abusive relationship. God’s desire for you is NOT to remain in an abusive relationship. Only you know when and how it might be safe for you to leave…but please do not keep yourself or your family in harm’s way because you think it is the will of God. We place our faith in a God of love and life!

In Christ,

Pastor Jen

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