WATCH: NFL star Ray Rice is now gone from the game, but the pressure is still top officials in the league. It was only after the video of Rice punching his wife was released that the league acted. Many think Rice isn’t the only one who should be punished. Mike Drolet reports.
After a video of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee was released this week, Beverly Gooden decided to speak about her own story on Twitter.
Gooden is behind the Twitter hashtag #WhyIStayed.
Celebrity gossip site TMZ obtained and uploaded security footage of the now-former Baltimore Ravens running back slugging his then-fiancée in an elevator following an argument, knocking her out, then dragging her limp body into the corridor.
Gooden, on her Twitter account, said she hadn’t seen the video nor did she need to.
The assault happened in February and Rice was charged with aggravated assault in March: he later made a plea bargain and got out of serving any time behind bars.
The day after he was indicted, the pair got married.
Following the release of the video, amid criticism lobbed at Ray Rice, as well as the Baltimore Ravens and the NFL for their handling of the situation, some questioned why Janay Rice went through with the marriage.
Gooden didn’t speculate why Janay Rice didn’t leave her partner, instead sharing her own experience.
“For over a year, I was physically abused by my ex-husband. When TMZ released the video of Ray Rice punching, dragging, and spitting on his wife this morning, the internet exploded with questions about her. Why didn’t she leave? Why did she marry him? Why did she stay?
“Leaving was a process, not an event. And sometimes it takes awhile to navigate through the process,” Gooden, a human resources manager and an author, said in blog post.
Gooden, in a series of tweets, went on to explain not only the reasons she stayed, but also provided some details of the abuse she endured at the hands of her husband.
Gooden’s tweets struck a chord and brought about a conversation about domestic abuse online.
“People don’t realize that we’re asking the same question everyone else is asking. We’re wondering why we’re still there and why we’re even trying,” Gooden told the Washington Post.
Her tweets and her hashtag prompted other women and men to discuss why they didn’t leave their abusive partners.
“It’s not easy to leave when you are threatened with additional violence,” Gooden told Mic “It’s not easy to leave when you remember how it used to be, or when they romance you during the good times, or when they promise it is the last time. Or when there are children involved. Because you believe in love and you believe in them.”
Gooden eventually left her spouse, as did many others who followed the #WhyIStayed conversation.
Gooden told the Washington Post the online conversation borne out of her original hashtag helped her feel less isolated. “I really hope this will help move the conversation from ‘Why doesn’t she leave?’ to ‘Why does he hit,'” she said.