I’m sure that Roger Goodell will deny that he has viewed it, but a third video has been released pertaining to the incident in the casino elevator in Atlantic City when former Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice punched his then fiancé.
I am no psychologist, but the video displayed curious behavior. While the first two displayed violent actions and the immediate aftermath, the third encourages more questions.
After the police arrived, Ray and Janay were separated. After they were handcuffed, and being led towards separate police cars, the couple attempted to kiss and Janay tried to nuzzle Ray’s neck. This could be assumed an act of forgiveness and true affection. It could also be emblematic of a more distressing issue.
Everyone who has seen a movie or television show involving a kidnapping has heard of ‘Stockholm Syndrome.’ The victim of a kidnapping often identifies and develops sympathy for their captor over a lengthy period of time. Because domestic violence is seldom discussed in the media, few have ever heard of ‘battered woman syndrome.’
Men and women in committed relationships, married or simply sharing their lives, will have disagreements. Arguments will occur over many topics; money, housekeeping, and how minor children are raised and disciplined top the list. When these arguments reach a point where voices are raised and tempers become uncontrollable, some men resort to violence.
The physical violence begins with slaps or shoves, combined with verbal abuse. As the situation increases, resulting in more frequent attacks, the level of violence also rises. She accepts the man’s contrition, and believes he will keep his promise to change.
There are four stages to ‘battered woman syndrome.’ The first stage is denial. The woman will deny that there is a problem in the relationship, and believe that the man will not repeat his actions. The second is guilt. The woman blames herself for the beatings. She has not lived up to her mate’s expectations and deserves to be punished. Enlightenment eventually enters the situation. The woman no longer blames herself. However, she continues to be committed to the relationship and believes that ‘they can eventually work things out.’
Sadly the final stage never arrives for some abused women. If she faces the truth and places the responsibility directly on the man in her life, she will remove herself from the abusive situation, and begin a new life.
Was the display of affection between Ray and Janay an indication that this was not the first time a similar situation occurred? Is Janay experiencing battered woman syndrome? Battered women frequently defend the men in their lives; they accept the mental and physical abuse fearing the loss of security, feelings of loneliness, and a questionable future far more than the beatings.
NFL fans can only hope that Ray Rice was truthful when he said that the incident in Atlantic City was the first and last of its type. Hopefully Ray will be truthful with the therapist. If a pattern of domestic violence is revealed, both Ray and Janay will need years of therapy to help them change their life’s pattern.
By James Turnage