89.1 WEMU

Domestic Violence Victims Have Options

Sep 10, 2014

When leaving an abusive partner doesn't seem like an option, victims of domestic violence should know that there is help available.  The video of football player Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancee  in an elevator has shined a spotlight on the problem.

Credit safehousecenter.org

 

SafeHouse Center Executive Director Barbara Neiss-May says the reasons victims give for staying with an abusive partner are many, and can include the hope that the abuser will change. 

She says change is not likely.

"The reality is it's up to the survivor," Neiss-May says.  "She knows what she needs to stay safe.  And combine that with the fact that they've tried to build a life with this person, (those) are enough reasons for me.  I'm sure there'll be survivors listening to this who'll say 'well, I stayed for this reason, or I left for this reason;' it's completely individual, why someone stays or why someone leaves."

Victims of domestic violence around the world are sharing their reasons for leaving and staying on Twitter using the hashtags #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft. 

Ray Rice's fiancee ended up marrying him, and has been defending him in the media firestorm following the video's release. 

Neiss-May says SafeHouse Center has resources to assist victims of domestic violence, including a 24-hour help line: (734) 995-5444.