Former Baltimore Ravens NFL player, Ray Rice has beaten the rap! Judge Michael Donio dismissed domestic violence charges against Rice on Thursday. He was charged with 3rd degree aggravated assault after video surveillance appeared showing Rice beating and dragging his then fiancé, Janay Palmer, in a hotel elevator last year in Atlantic City, N.J.
Apparently, Rice completed his pretrial obligations of paying a $125 fine and receiving anger management counseling through a New Jersey intervention program. According to the Associated Press, only 70 of approximately 15,000 domestic violence assault cases from 2010 to 2013 in New Jersey’s Superior Court were admitted into the pretrial intervention program. It appears to me; maybe someone here received preferential treatment!
As a 24 year domestic violence survivor, I am appalled Rice is able to walk away with his charges being dropped considering the world saw the abuse on video. Is this ruling sending the wrong messages to abusers- if there is no video, you can beat the charges? Will a victim be reluctant to call the police or press charges as a result of this ruling?
I know we all make mistakes in life and deserve a second chance to redeem ourselves and can possibly change as a person. However, as a former domestic violence victim, I do not believe completing just one program constitutes exoneration of the crime. People are being prosecuted for less offenses. When will the day come when if you do the crime, you do the time and not just receive a slap on the wrist because you are an athlete, politician, celebrity or a millionaire?
I cannot speak for Janay Rice but I know for myself, I did not leave my abuser immediately after the abuse began because I thought my love could change him. I was young and naive. I began to blame myself for the abuse thinking I must be doing something wrong to set him off. As my life flashed before my eyes one evening as he lifted me to body slam me to the ground, I realized, this was not my fault, but his. He had the problem. It was only by the grace of God I survived and decided I needed to end the relationship because the “I’m sorry. I love you. It won’t happen again” kept repeating. For Janay Rice’s sake, I hope Ray Rice has really changed. The bruises on the outside may heal but it may take a lifetime for the bruising on the inside to leave.
If you are being abused or no someone that is being abused please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and get help.