Yesterday’s emotional tirade that involved Ray Rice and his family also shed light on the positive side of social media. As soon as his firing was announced the blame was equally shared between the couple, towards Ray for obvious horrific reasons, but Janay Rice also received her fair share of ridicule for staying.
Many that have never been in a domestic violence relationship were quick to judge while those that are survivors could relate. One in particular, writer Beverly Gordon, decided to change the course of the conversation from attacking to understanding.
“I was watching the responses to the TMZ on my timeline, and I noticed a trend. People were asking ‘why did she marry him?’ and ‘why didn’t she leave him,'” Gooden told Mic. “When I saw those tweets, my first reaction was shame. The same shame that I felt back when I was in a violent marriage. It’s a sort of guilt that would make me crawl into a shell and remain silent. But today, for a reason I can’t explain, I’d had enough. I knew I had an answer to everyone’s question of why victims of violence stay. I can’t speak for Janay Rice, I can only speak for me.”
She started the hashtag #WhyIStayed to reflect on her own story of abuse, in hopes her followers would start the dialogue that rarely gets discussed. Quickly the #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft trended late last night and the wee hours of the mornings as a sincere unification was felt in the cyber world.
For a few hours the echoes of derision and disgust subsided as followers related to one another’s 140 character explanations and those that were never in that position tried to grasp the concept that love can be dangerous and abuse is gender and color blind.
A different turn from our usual funny trendy Twitter recounts, flip the page to check out the #WhyIStayed tweets and if you can relate, comment below why you stayed.