Ray Rice Case Highlights the Sadness and Complexity of Domestic Abuse Cases

Sports fans and family lawyers in Northern Virginia alike are still shocked and dismayed by the story of former Baltimore Raven, Ray Rice. The football star, who stands accused of physically abusing his then-fiancee and now wife, Janay Rice, lost his job as a star running back for the Ravens, after the public saw a surveillance video of Rice beating his wife unconscious in an elevator.

The incident led to domestic abuse charges for both Janay and Ray, although a judge later dropped the charges against Janay. Despite the firestorm of criticism over the assault, Janay has remained staunchly loyal to her husband. Her position has incensed many domestic abuse activists and advocates and sparked a national conversation about why women stay with their abusers.

Experts cite a wide variety of reasons, including:

  • Fear of retaliation. Here’s a disturbing fact to keep you up at night: homicide rates of women who leave their abusers are significantly higher than they are for the rest of the population.
  • Financial support. If the abusing spouse provides the majority of a family’s income, the victim may be loath to leave the relationship and strike out on his or her own.
  • Children. A woman (or man) may endure abuse, if he or she believes that doing so might protect children caught in the middle. A parent may also try to overlook the violence to avoid a custody battle or a divorce.
  • Mixed emotions. A victim of abuse may be very angry at the abuser but simultaneously may want to protect him or her from prison time and punishments.

Many current NFL players face domestic violence charges. These people include:

  • Frostee Rucker (Arizona Cardinals)
  • Randy Starks (Miami Dolphins)
  • Donte Whitner (Cleveland Browns)
  • Erik Walden (Indianapolis Colts)
  • Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys)
  • Greg Hardy (Carolina Panthers)
  • Santonio Holmes and Brandon Marshall (Chicago Bears)
  • Kevin Williams and Tony McDaniel (Seattle Seahawks)
  • Chris Cook and Ray McDonald (San Francisco 49ers)

If you have experienced domestic violence in Northern Virginia, and you need legal assistance to separate from your spouse and protect yourself and your children, the Virginia family lawyers at DiPietro PLLC are here to help. We offer confidential consultations. Contact us today at 703-370-5555 to get the critical help you need.

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