After a 3 week summer break we are back with the GTHQ Weekly Wrap Up! This week we tackle the issue of domestic violence in the NFL. There have been plenty of stories in the media about ex-Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice who beat up his then-fiance Janay in February. The whole incident was caught on tape and recently leaked by gossip site TMZ. Since then the NFL has been forced to confront the growing issue of domestic violence from its players, and commissioner Roger Goodell has come under fire for not dishing out a harsher penalty to Ray Rice.
The NFL recently released a new memorandum on domestic violence stating first-time offenders would be suspended for a number of games, but a second offense would mean a lifetime ban.
While the media has been mainly focusing on the NFL’s stance, we decided to focus on the real victims in this situation. The whole incident has enabled many other domestic violence victims to speak out about their ordeal and it has empowered them to realize they are not alone.
Janay Rice publicly stood by her husband saying she will not leave him. This prompted a viral hashtag on twitter called #whyistayed, which say thousands of men and women share their own reasons for why they stayed with their abuser, allowing others to realize how complicated this situation is.
The other telling fact we came across while researching this issue, was that even though there is comprehensive information and research into women who are abused, there isn’t much to find about men. If we are to have men part of this conversation from an equal point of view and have them recognize it from a female perspective, we too need to have more information about how the situation affects them.
Women are forced to be silenced from an institutional level, but men are silenced because perhaps society doesn’t take their experiences seriously, and that has to change. If we want men to be part of the solution, we can’t only see them as perpetrators, preventer and protectors. They are also victims and that fact shouldn’t be ignored.
This is not a gender issue, it is a humanity issue, all facts have to be displayed out in the open for us to find solutions to this growing problem.
Hear Asha’s thoughts on the topic, and while you are at it, don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube channel and keep up to date with our weekly videos.