Big Girls Don’t Cry, They Turn to Instagram

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AP Photo: Patrick Semansky 

He clocks her with a left jab to the jaw and she falls instantly out of frame. Then, instead of feeling remorse and checking to see if she’s okay, he grabs her unconscious body like a sack of garbage and drags her from the elevator unaware the video camera has captured every moment of his barbaric behavior. And when the video goes viral, she goes straight to Instagram and writes a post defending him and proclaiming her love.

Sounds like an episode of TVs “Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit,” but no, it’s the ugly truth.

Ever since the Atlantic City hotel video of Ray Rice punching his wife Janay went viral, domestic violence has risen its ugly head yet again in the form of a big bruising football player beating his then girlfriend. Since the incident was aired to the world, Ray Rice has since been dropped from his $35 million contract as running back for the Baltimore Ravens, suspended from NFL football indefinitely, and the public has been made aware, yet again, that there are men out there who get off on beating, verbally abusing, and bullying women.

In her Instagram, Janay Rice defends her husband (yes, she married him after the incident) and she blames the media and the NFL for this downward spiral in their lives. What’s really heartbreaking about her Instagram is how she stands by her man and seems to share the blame for the abuse as if it was her fault he knocked her to the ground with his fist.

“…To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing,” she writes. “This is our life. What don’t you all get? …Just know we will continue to grow and show what real love is.”

Getting beat up by a guy is not love. According to DomesticViolenceStatistics.org, one in three women has been the victim of domestic violence. And it’s not just grown women who get smacked around by the men who supposedly love them. Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship claim a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm when she tried to break it off.

Helping girls, women, and parents learn to identify abusive behavior is a mission of the Mary Kay cosmetics company. Since the Mary Kay Don’t Look Away campaign began, statistics have been compiled and it seems there is a “dangerous gap” in the lack of parent awareness of daughter relationships. One of the most compelling statistics: Nearly 80 percent of parents agree it’s important to talk about dating abuse with their kids, and yet only 3 percent of the parents identify no violence as a characteristic of a healthy relationship.

(www.marykay.com/dontlookaway for information; text “loveis” to 77054 if you or someone you know has experienced abuse.)

Mary Kay is doing its part for women; but isn’t it time a company like Tommy Hilfiger, Gillette, or even Google or Amazon create a campaign to raise male awareness to stop violence against women.

Isn’t it time men address the problem in their own camp and find ways to get men like Ray Rice to seek the help they need to stop their violent behavior? Isn’t it time domestic violence becomes part of the male-to-male dialogue and dads sit down with sons and talk it out?

It seems like an uphill battle, but our society has to be vigilant and find ways for abusive men to realize that being a man has absolutely nothing to do with how you can keep your girlfriend, wife or daughter in line. A real man treats a woman as an equal, not a punching bag.

 

About Sally Deering

Sally Deering is an award-winning reporter, columnist and playwright whose plays and musicals have been produced in New York and Chicago. She writes features and blogs for the web and recently completed her second book, a crime noir mystery. Sally lives right outside New York City. Contact her at: SallyDeer@aol.com
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