Perhaps some good came out of Ray Rice's video of his violent attack on his ex-fiancée Janay Palmer.
As soon as the video started doing rounds, the all familiar questions of why do women stay with men who abuse them started popping up?
Some question whether the victims deserve what they get just by sticking with their abusers and not leaving them.
Pop star Rihanna and Chris Brown’s abusive relationship has always been in question for the very same reason.
After every such incident, questions like these add to a survivor’s already over burdened conscience.
"Let's not all jump on the bandwagon of demonizing this guy," said Fox News contributor Ben Carson. "He obviously has some real problems, and his wife obviously knows that, because she subsequently married him."
Well perhaps this time it proved to be too much; victims and survivors-both men and women- of domestic abuse have spoken up. In a new Twitter trend #whyIleft, people are sharing their stories about why they stayed in an abusive relationship or why they decided to finally call it quits.
Their responses are a real eye-opener.
Abuse steals your self-esteem and dignity. You stop trusting yourself. #whyistayed— Meghan Murphy (@MeghanEMurphy) September 9, 2014
#whyistayed because eventually my self-esteem was so twisted that I genuinely believed I was in the relationship I deserved— Nick Mattos (@nickmattos2) September 9, 2014
#whyistayed bc after all, he wasn't hitting me. I knew it was bad when I WISHED he hit me so ppl would believe I was being abused.— Joy L. S. Hoffman (@joy_hoffman) September 9, 2014
#whyistayed There was no money to get out, or place to go. Domestic abuse knows no gender.— Montgomery Maxton (@MontMaxton) September 9, 2014
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States, more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. Three to four million women in the United States are beaten in their homes each year by their husbands, ex-husbands, or male lovers.
However, domestic violence against men, though under report and generally downplayed, is also a serious issue. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief in 2003, 15% of the victims of reported intimate partner violence were men.
Blaming the victim or judging them for their supposed weakness is not the answer. One cannot know what the victim underwent as each persons experience is so unique and crippling.