The Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice was recently let go and suspended indefinitely by the NFL for abusing his then-fiance Janay Rice in an elevator. It ignited many conversations regarding domestic violence, which is also why York College holds panel discussions to educate students about the issue.
The most recent footage of Rice punching the woman who has since become his wife in an elevator then dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator, has started to shed light on the issue of domestic violence which is concealed behind many closed doors.
The recent security footage not only made a difference to the NFL, but also to survivors of domestic abuse. And the latest hashtag on Twitter #WhyIStayed, gave more outlooks and perspectives on the issue.
“You have to teach people how to prevent domestic violence,” said Patricia Gregory from Transition Center Safe house, during a panel discussion at York College. “If someone is in a domestic violence situation, get them help. Healthy relationships don’t drag you out, they bring you up.”
The topic is receiving unprecedented coverage by the U.S. media. Intimate partner violence entails aggression between two partners and it can happen to anyone of any gender or ethnicity.
More than six million people are victims of domestic violence each year, according to the New York District Attorney’s office.
Approximately 4,000 women and 900 men are treated in New York City emergency rooms each year for partner violence, while an average of 40 percent of female homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner each year, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Vice President Joe Biden recently described domestic abuse as, “The most vicious form of violence there is, but not only the physical scars are left but the psychological scars are left.”
Many people choose to stay in relationships where domestic violence is present so they can keep their families together, or in some cases due to financial situations. At times a lot of people who are abused feel that they are psychologically unfit to get out of their relationships with their abuser. Many victims of abuse are sometimes those who have unstable immigration and legal statuses and they are afraid to seek help due their vulnerable positions.
“Domestic violence is a problem. Even today it is still not being taken as serious in this day and age,” said Vishwamitra Persaud, a York Business Administration major. “It’s not just physical abuse, it’s emotional and psychological too. Sometimes there’s a lot of stigma.”
Persaud said that he has witnessed the presence of domestic violence in many relationships.
“People are emotionally chained to relationships and they feel they can’t get out, they want to stay and make it work anyhow,” Persaud said.