The video footage released this week of Ray Rice beating his then-fiancée spurred the NFL to finally terminate Rice’s contract. And it also spurred the classic questions that abuse victims face — such as, Why didn’t she leave? and Why is she staying? (Janay Rice, née Palmer, went on to marry Rice a month after the incident in the elevator.)
But Beverly Gooden, author of Confessions of a Church Girl, saw the situation through Janay’s eyes, which led her to start the Twitter hashtag #whyistayed. That sparked women to share heart-wrenching stories about staying in abusive relationships and the moments they decided to leave. We’ve rounded up ten of the most powerful tweets from the #whyistayed and #whyileft Twitter conversation.
I had to plan my escape for months before I even had a place to go and money for the bus to get there. #WhyIStayed— Beverly Gooden (@bevtgooden) September 8, 2014
#whyistayed b/c he never hit me and I didn’t think verbal abuse and emotional manipulation was considered an abusive relationship.— Kaman (@hellokaman) September 9, 2014
#WhyIStayed: because my word was the only evidence.
— Rachel McKibbens (@RachelMcKibbens) September 9, 2014
— Darth HotMess (@Jedi_Daddy) September 9, 2014
— kirin_rosemary (@kirin_rosemary) September 9, 2014
— Rae (@Goddess_Rae) September 9, 2014
— Jessica Zwolle (@jesszvan) September 10, 2014
— ¾ Love ¼ Fierce (@SalinaSweet) September 10, 2014
— Hoops (@Hoops2122) September 10, 2014
he took away access 2 our bank account when i made an error in our checkbook, 1st yr together, deposited all my paychecks there. #whyistayed
— NatashaChart (@NatashaChart) September 10, 2014