Letter from our Editor-in-Chief, Serena Watson -- September 15, 2014
By now we've all seen the video of the incident between Ray Rice and his (now) wife, Janay Rice, in that elevator in Atlantic City. Watching someone who the world lauds for their physical strength not just hurt someone they claim to love, but stand over her body and drag it across the floor was bone chilling and sickening. The tragic part is that this type of thing happens all the time; but it isn't always talked about. Domestic abuse cases happen every day but remain a secret when the video footage doesn't get leaked or the victim is silenced.
In this case Janay made the decision to stay with her abuser and even married him after the incident. I won't claim to know the details of the Rice's relationship but this scenario sounds all too familiar. Rihanna went back to Chris Brown a few times after their late night fight that left her bruised and battered. Evelyn Lozada, Madonna, Halle Berry and many others had similar experiences. Why you ask? Women who have been victims of abuse took to Twitter this week to share their reasons why they stayed with their abusers using the hashtag #WhyIStayed. Their reasons are scary and heart-wrenching.
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There are many layers to this issue that I can't sum up in one letter but the large majority of women stayed because they just didn't feel strong enough to leave. It just reinforced in me the reasons why uplifting women is so important. Building women up everyday and helping them see the value they hold is imperative. We as a society are responsible for how we treat our women. We have to tell women that they are amazingly unique and infinitely precious so that they can find the strength in themselves to leave a bad situation and reach for something better. No woman should feel so alone or so unloved that they stay in an abusive relationship. And if you are in a situation like this just know your family loves you. Your community loves you. I love you. And we all want you to be stronger, happy and free.