[ View the story "#WhyIStayed: The challenges and choices facing domestic violence victims" on Storify] #WhyIStayed: The challenges and choices facing domestic violence victims The Stream speaks to survivors of domestic violence about the challenges of leaving an abusive relationship.
The Stream· Tue, Sep 16 2014 17:40:05
The now infamous video of US football player Ray Rice
then-fiance and now wife Janay Rice sparked a national debate about domestic violence. Many wondered why Janay Rice would stay and defend her husband. The viral
#WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft
hashtags started to address this question.
#WhyIStayed was created by writer
who wanted to shed light on the complexities of leaving an abusive relationship.
All these folks trashing women for staying in abusive situations have NO clue what happens the moment you reach for a door handle.Beverly Gooden
He said he would change. He promised it was the last time. I believed him. He lied. #WhyIStayedBeverly Gooden
Users on Twitter joined the conversation to share their experiences with domestic violence. According to
, 1 in 3 women in the US have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner.
I was a shell of my former self, I was so dependent on him and what he wanted. I didn't know how to live without him. #WhyIStayedcalisportsgyrl
bc when you're called weak, oversensitive, and dumb over and over again you start to believe the problem is you #WhyIStayedsamantha duenas
I thought domestic violence didn't happen to educated women with good jobs, so I pretended it wasn't happening to me. #WhyIStayedEmily Johnson
Because, if I endured the worst, he would know I loved him the best. #WhyIStayedRebecca Richards
Below writer Leslie Morgan Steiner discusses her
and argues it's often dangerous for women to leave. Over
of domestic violence murders happen after the victim leaves the relationship.
Why domestic violence victims don't leaveLeslie Morgan Steiner
On average, victims leave the relationship
before staying away for good.
for staying range from financial dependence to isolation from family and friends or being in love with their abusers.
#WhyIStayed because what happens at home is private business that no one needs to know about. Pretend you're happy & deal with it privately.monica
He was my first love and I thought love was supposed to be like that... I was wrong #WhyIStayedChrystina L.
because they consume your life.
& you feel alone.
& distant from everyone.
To the point that it becomes difficult to reach out.عـاليـة
Because I was a good Christian girl. Good Christian girls stand by their men. They never, ever leave. #WhyIStayedM.A. Hoak
Others stayed because they didn't
that domestic abuse isn't always just physical violence.
I didn't know verbal abuse was a real thing. No one ever talks about it, I thought i was alone. #WhyIStayedKaitlyn Richard
I was told that because it wasn't PHYSICAL that it wasn't really abuse #WhyIStayedTaylor
#WhyIStayed I was scared. I thought I deserved it. I didn't think mental abuse counted. I thought I was worthless. I was kept dependent.Jane T. Robot
Men and members of the LGBTQ community also took to Twitter to show that heterosexual women aren't the
of domestic abuse.
because they only ever talk about how to help woman & their children what was I do to as a boy & then as a man? #WhyIStayed #whypeopleabuseGraeme Kilpatrick
#WhyIStayed because who can you really "victim blame" in a same-sex relationship? After all it's just "a fight" a few "love taps" #whyileftElle
Because so many men had violated her, and being a man meant I deserved to be punched. A "real man" just takes it. #WhyIStayedSam Carrington
#WhyIStayed: bc #lgbtq intimate partner violence isn't "legitimate." she hit/kicked/screamed and i never recognized it for what it was.Ricky Roo
While many agreed that domestic violence was wrong, some said Janay Rice should be
for hitting him as well.
Didn't they hit each other? Aren't there two abusers here? #RayRice If we want to stop domestic violence we should start by recognizing it.Develynne Camack
#RayRice should't have hit her. #JanayRice shouldn't have hit him. NOBODY should hit ANYBODY in anger! We have language for a reason!Just Suzannah
@AJStream A what point do we say it's unacceptable for any abuse to take place in relationships? Don't hit anyone. It's never acceptable.aaron haynes
On The View, Whoopi Goldberg agreed:
Whoopi Defends Stephen A. Smith: If You Hit a Man, Don’t Be Surprised if He Hits BackyUMRGaF7rJvnoNTT2fbDKw
The Stream asked its community: What encourages domestic violence in intimate partner relationships?
@ajstream when u make your spouse believe ts okay for them to beat you....it may start off as something light but neva ignore tahmed zura
@AJStream People aren't taught how to communicate with each other, have to learn by trial and errorpuny earthling
@AJStream The male wish/mandate to control and dominate his wife, so he is seen as a 'normal" man...whatever it takes, even killing her!Nora Femenia, Ph.D.
Members gave reasons why domestic abuse victims don't report the violence.
@AJStream where do they go? What do they do? #WhyILeft #WhyIStayedToni Bunton
@AJStream social blame of a dysfunctional family always falling on women and divorce is taboo in some cultures. Women are considered items.RCLekamwasam
@AJStream Local ordinance/laws that do little to help/encourage victims to report, and that discourage seeking helpSaria
@AJStream Some do not want to be misfits in a society that shuns divorce. Its funny how women r blamed for divorce when they r victims.Lynette N Manzini
Some also mentioned asking women 'why they stay' is the
. Instead we should also ask why abuse happens.
@AJStream certainly not. Why #Violence exists is the question.Tooba Sd
@Tooba_Sd @AJStream Aggression = release of suppressed emotions. There are 2 "Victims". Though only one shows the physical signs.Cimi Skywalker
@AJStream surely a better and more important question is why do people abuse others, and how can we as a society help to stop it?Anna