Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Janay Rice Inspires #WhyIStayed Stories By Beverly Gooden And Other Abused Women

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I've never been in an abusive relationship, and when I saw the video of Janay Rice being punched in the head by her then fiance, I just couldn't imagine why she went on to marry him. Beverly Gooden has been in one, and she knows what could be driving Janay Rice.

Seeing many on social media calling out Janay especially after she released a statement defending her NFL player husband, Beverly decided to change the conversation. She called on her followers to share their stories of domestic abuse with the hashtag #WhyIStayed in an effort to draw awareness to the complexities of domestic violence. She wrote on her website;

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?

I can't speak for Janay Rice, but I can speak for Beverly Gooden. Why did I stay? Check out some of my reasons here. Leaving was a process, not an event. And sometimes it takes awhile to navigate through the process.

I believe in storytelling. I believe in the power of shared experience. I believe that we find strength in community. That is why I created this hashtag. I hope those tweeting using #WhyIStayed find a voice, find love, find compassion, and find hope.

Check out some of the touching tweets below. I'm happy especially with those who add #WhyIleft to show they have put the abuse and abuser behind them.


  1. The tweets were really hard to read. Actually made me wince. I'm glad these women made it out before it was too late. I'm sure Beverly Gooden speaks for many when she says leaving was a process, rather than an event.

  2. I think for many who have watched this play out in the press and who have lived lives, we wonder even about them postponing the marriage and "trying to work things out." I wonder if SHE saw the video-the disdain with which he dragged her out of the elevator and dumped her on the floor. There was no caring and no remorse there, no concern for someone he supposedly loves, despite what all the friends and family are saying. There was none. I could understand her saying or thinking his action was an accident, she loves him, they have a family, they are going to work things out. But that doesn't mean that before you get roped in, you can't try to step back. His action went PUBLIC. That was a best opportunity to enact an attempt at change, if needed. However if she was too afraid, even with the whole public behind her, to make a move/change/attempt, then I feel even sadder for her. She would have had recourse and shade, while he would have had none. That second has passed though, and I hope she doesn't have to suffer more in silence in plain view, now that his identity has changed...because this is the most dangerous time for her.

    To the rest of you who survived the unbelievable: congratulations! Best wishes! Stay strong and continue to raise your voices in awareness.

  3. why do women allow this to continue to happen to them, you ll be the one to suffer while someone like pistorius gets away with it


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