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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Domestic Violence or The Ray Rice Incident

   
Author Topic: Domestic Violence or The Ray Rice Incident
GaalDornick
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I'm sure we're all on the same page that domestic violence is a problem that needs to be addressed, but I do think it's wrong the way we spotlight one instance of it because it's a celebrity. It's really none of our business and is causing more harm than help:
http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/09/09/janay-rice-posts-statement-instagram/oU6Pcur0GHjBNwyhGuWjNK/story.html


Also worth watching:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy5vRGtKPY0

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Bella Bee
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I think the spotlighting may be partly because it is an 'invisible firm's most of the time.

Also because here is someone recognizable doing something illegal on video. That often gets into the news.

Here in Spain convicted domestic abusers are named and shamed and the tally of women who are killed by partners is frequently mentioned in the media. It's done a lot to reduce the level of domestic violence in the country.

It may be awkward and embarrassing for the victim, which is terribly sad, but it was also assault and therefore totally unacceptable behaviour which should be punished. It is really not important that he's a public figure, but some people may emulate him, because as a sportsman he is also considered in our culture to be a hero.

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BlackBlade
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Athletes are not just celebrities, they are also role-models, and NFL players sign a code of conduct while they are in the organization.

If the NFL didn't want to spotlight Rice, the Baltimore Ravens should have fired him, the NFL should have banned him indefinitely from playing on a team, and then required he undergo anger management classes and be evaluated for league fitness upon completion.

Instead they slapped him with a two game ban, and forced his fiance to plead for mercy on his behalf, rather than requiring him to demonstrate contrition for his odious behavior. He became a very visible symbol for just how far the NFL needs to go on many social issues.

It's not about persecuting Rice and forcing him to take the lashings of others, it's about getting the response to his criminal behavior right, and expecting him to change it if he wants to play ball, separate from that is the punishment that should be dolled out to the NFL for covering up and refusing to take a monetary hit so as to do the right thing.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
... It's really none of our business and is causing more harm than help

First I've heard of this Ray Rice, so I'm doing my part [Wink]
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GaalDornick
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Athletes are not just celebrities, they are also role-models, and NFL players sign a code of conduct while they are in the organization.

If the NFL didn't want to spotlight Rice, the Baltimore Ravens should have fired him, the NFL should have banned him indefinitely from playing on a team, and then required he undergo anger management classes and be evaluated for league fitness upon completion.

Instead they slapped him with a two game ban, and forced his fiance to plead for mercy on his behalf, rather than requiring him to demonstrate contrition for his odious behavior. He became a very visible symbol for just how far the NFL needs to go on many social issues.

It's not about persecuting Rice and forcing him to take the lashings of others, it's about getting the response to his criminal behavior right, and expecting him to change it if he wants to play ball, separate from that is the punishment that should be dolled out to the NFL for covering up and refusing to take a monetary hit so as to do the right thing.

I'm going to play devil's advocate here, but if his wife forgave him for what happened and we don't know what the rest of their relationship is like, is it the responsibility of other organizations to punish him when the victim doesn't agree? In the criminal justice system, if the victim doesn't want to press charges, to what extent do the courts still dole out punishment for a crime?
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Risuena
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
Is it the responsibility of other organizations to punish him when the victim doesn't agree? In the criminal justice system, if the victim doesn't want to press charges, to what extent do the courts still dole out punishment for a crime? [/QB]

I believe there are some states where they can prosecute domestic violence charges even if the victim declines to press charges. They do this because it is extremely common for victims to not want to press charges - they often believe the abuse is their fault, or they believe it when the abuser says "I'm sorry, it won't happen again" or they believe they deserve the abuse, or they want to keep the family together or even they have no way to escape and have no faith in the legal system to protect them.

I have no idea if Ray Rice is a serial abuser or not. It is possible that the incident in the elevator was the one and only time he has ever hit his wife. Statistically though, that's extremely unlikely. Janay Rice has her reasons for staying with him and she doesn't need to justify them. None of this is about her staying with him, it's him hitting her.

And yes, it is the responsibility of other organizations and individuals to do their best to prevent future abuse - whether it involves the Rices or the family down the street that's not famous.

There's a lot that was poorly handled in this case - the NFL's response, the Ravens response (don't get me started!) and I'm not a fan of the New Jersey laws that allowed Rice to enter a pretrial diversionary program rather than go to trial.

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Lyrhawn
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It's entirely up to the local prosecutor.
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Samprimary
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They do sign a code of conduct when they enter the NFL, and that code of conduct does not come at the expense of marginalized or otherwise protected groups. Society benefits when the scrutiny applied to these organizations that host pesons of notable public exposure or other representation makes it so that they cannot profitably ignore the abuse and bigotry of their stars and must act against them. Let the lesson be learned correctly how society should treat you if you are an abuser.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Athletes are not just celebrities, they are also role-models, and NFL players sign a code of conduct while they are in the organization.

If the NFL didn't want to spotlight Rice, the Baltimore Ravens should have fired him, the NFL should have banned him indefinitely from playing on a team, and then required he undergo anger management classes and be evaluated for league fitness upon completion.

Instead they slapped him with a two game ban, and forced his fiance to plead for mercy on his behalf, rather than requiring him to demonstrate contrition for his odious behavior. He became a very visible symbol for just how far the NFL needs to go on many social issues.

It's not about persecuting Rice and forcing him to take the lashings of others, it's about getting the response to his criminal behavior right, and expecting him to change it if he wants to play ball, separate from that is the punishment that should be dolled out to the NFL for covering up and refusing to take a monetary hit so as to do the right thing.

I'm going to play devil's advocate here, but if his wife forgave him for what happened and we don't know what the rest of their relationship is like, is it the responsibility of other organizations to punish him when the victim doesn't agree? In the criminal justice system, if the victim doesn't want to press charges, to what extent do the courts still dole out punishment for a crime?
As others have noted, there's a huge problem with victim's of abuse feeling coerced to *not* admit that abuse took place.

There's no doubt Rice assaulted his fiance, him being punished is not contingent on his fiance *wanting* to press charges. If I get you to sign a note saying you are authorizing me to murder you, and I do so, I'm going to be convicted of 1st degree murder.

When the assault took place, Rice should have been immediately punished as there was no doubt the crime took place. He was given a laughable punishment by the NFL, his team, and the justice department refused to do anything (which they can of course decided to do), but society doesn't have to accept inaction as their cue.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
It's really none of our business and is causing more harm than help:


Had he killed her would it be our business? How severe do the injuries need to be before it is our business?
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GaalDornick
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quote:
I believe there are some states where they can prosecute domestic violence charges even if the victim declines to press charges. They do this because it is extremely common for victims to not want to press charges - they often believe the abuse is their fault, or they believe it when the abuser says "I'm sorry, it won't happen again" or they believe they deserve the abuse, or they want to keep the family together or even they have no way to escape and have no faith in the legal system to protect them.
But how do we know this is the case with Ray Rice? Maybe she knows he really is sorry and would never do it again. How do we distinguish between people do something wrong and being forgiven by the victim and where the legal system does need to step in because the victim is scared for whatever reason to stand up for themselves?

quote:
It's entirely up to the local prosecutor.
That seems strange. Shouldn't there be equal punishment in this country for a crime regardless of whose jurisdiction it took place in? Isn't there federal laws for that?

quote:
There's no doubt Rice assaulted his fiance, him being punished is not contingent on his fiance *wanting* to press charges. If I get you to sign a note saying you are authorizing me to murder you, and I do so, I'm going to be convicted of 1st degree murder.
But why is that? Murder is a strong comparison, but if someone is allowing you to do something to them, is it the legal system's responsibility to step in despite the involved parties' wills? I understand the problem with domestic violence, but in a case where we know that the victim does not want to press charges and for reasons that aren't misguided, would you still support punishment by a third party?

[ September 10, 2014, 05:50 PM: Message edited by: GaalDornick ]

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GaalDornick
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
It's really none of our business and is causing more harm than help:


Had he killed her would it be our business? How severe do the injuries need to be before it is our business?
By "our business" I meant the general public and the media. Do you think the media is helping Janay in this instance by reporting incessantly on it?
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kmbboots
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Possibly. By pressuring law enforcement, they could help put Rice in jail. By shining a light, they may help her to realize that she should get the heck out before he snaps her neck.

More importantly, it is helping women in general when men who do this are shamed and punished rather than excused.

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ElJay
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Slate has an article addressing this that I think lays out a lot of the reasons people stay in abusive relationships and why the rest of us should care very well.

In Minnesota, if the police are called on a domestic violence incident it automatically goes before a judge, regardless of what the victim wants or a prosecuter thinks. If it was bad enough that the police were called, it gets a day in court. I think it's a good way to handle it.

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Samprimary
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Another way you could frame the question is how is it our business that the NFL decides to act upon Rice's breach of contract for the terms for professional personal conduct he chose to sign when electing to be a part of the NFL?
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GaalDornick
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That was a good article ElJay, thanks for sharing that.
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kmbboots
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http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/we-protect-privilege-with-violence-and-none-are-innocent
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Dogbreath
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There was a case here recently in my neighborhood of a woman who was repeatedly abused, and consistently defended her abuser, kept him out of jail. He ended up strangling her and killing her. (He didn't realize that strangling caused bruised muscle tissue in the neck to swell and cut off blood flow. He assumed so long as he "just choked her a little" she would be fine. She was brain dead by the time he called 911)

Others have gone more into the psycology of the abused, and why they might want to defend their abuser. This honestly probably sucks a lot for Jenay, and maybe they're all hunky dory now, but the point his Ray is someone who's willing to lash out and physically assault someone else when angry. That's simply not acceptable behavior, no matter how much the other person forgives him or how sorry he is now. I'm glad the NFL is getting rid of him.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/we-protect-privilege-with-violence-and-none-are-innocent

Bonus points are accrued by this article by running full circle to the sniveling, troglodytic, paleocon churn of George Will
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
quote:
I believe there are some states where they can prosecute domestic violence charges even if the victim declines to press charges. They do this because it is extremely common for victims to not want to press charges - they often believe the abuse is their fault, or they believe it when the abuser says "I'm sorry, it won't happen again" or they believe they deserve the abuse, or they want to keep the family together or even they have no way to escape and have no faith in the legal system to protect them.
But how do we know this is the case with Ray Rice? Maybe she knows he really is sorry and would never do it again. How do we distinguish between people do something wrong and being forgiven by the victim and where the legal system does need to step in because the victim is scared for whatever reason to stand up for themselves?

The law distinguishes. In the case of States wherein men are prosecuted for abuse, regardless of whether a woman presses charges, the distinction is quite clear. In other states, which are frankly less enlightened, the law frequently fails to serve justice.

quote:
quote:
I believe there are some states where they can prosecute domestic violence charges even if the victim declines to press charges. They do this because it is extremely common for victims to not want to press charges - they often believe the abuse is their fault, or they believe it when the abuser says "I'm sorry, it won't happen again" or they believe they deserve the abuse, or they want to keep the family together or even they have no way to escape and have no faith in the legal system to protect them.
But how do we know this is the case with Ray Rice? Maybe she knows he really is sorry and would never do it again. How do we distinguish between people do something wrong and being forgiven by the victim and where the legal system does need to step in because the victim is scared for whatever reason to stand up for themselves?

quote:
It's entirely up to the local prosecutor.
That seems strange. Shouldn't there be equal punishment in this country for a crime regardless of whose jurisdiction it took place in? Isn't there federal laws for that?

Would you like to live in a country where the federal government would decide what's best for you and your neighbors? On parking tickets, on misdemeanor assaults, on felony assaults? On drunk driving? I don't.

quote:
quote:
There's no doubt Rice assaulted his fiance, him being punished is not contingent on his fiance *wanting* to press charges. If I get you to sign a note saying you are authorizing me to murder you, and I do so, I'm going to be convicted of 1st degree murder.
But why is that? Murder is a strong comparison, but if someone is allowing you to do something to them, is it the legal system's responsibility to step in despite the involved parties' wills? I understand the problem with domestic violence, but in a case where we know that the victim does not want to press charges and for reasons that aren't misguided, would you still support punishment by a third party?
Not misguided for whom? For the victim? For the community? We enforce laws because of the precedent that punishment sets, as well as to serve justice. That it is known that you cannot buy off a victim, that you cannot beg forgiveness for unforgivable betrayals, that you cannot abuse and intimidate people, and then have your *community* forgive you, is an important distinction. Because the victim is one party. Not the only one, and not one of only two. The justice system meets out forgiveness and second chances on behalf of all of us. And it protects all of us, not just the immediate victims, from abusers, thieves and killers.

This is why judges are elected, or appointed by elected officials, and why juries are selected from peers, and not from among the victims. Because in court, you answer to your peers for your crimes. Not to your victims.

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scifibum
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I saw video of what happened in the elevator and it seems possible to me that she hit first. (I can't tell for sure.) What I'm not sure of is whether this should be at all mitigatory. There's certainly no way she hit with nearly the same potential for harm.
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Risuena
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
I saw video of what happened in the elevator and it seems possible to me that she hit first. (I can't tell for sure.)

She did hit him first - in the hallway, after he appears to spit on her. And then she tries to hit him again in the elevator, again, after he appears to spit on her a second time. Also, it is my understanding that spitting in someone's face can be considered assault in New Jersey.
quote:
What I'm not sure of is whether this should be at all mitigatory. There's certainly no way she hit with nearly the same potential for harm.
Regardless of whether she hit him first or she was retaliating for him spitting on her, I don't think it mitigates his actions at all, because his response is so far out of proportion to hers.
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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:

Murder is a strong comparison, but if someone is allowing you to do something to them, is it the legal system's responsibility to step in despite the involved parties' wills? I understand the problem with domestic violence, but in a case where we know that the victim does not want to press charges and for reasons that aren't misguided, would you still support punishment by a third party?

Like it or not, that is how our justice system works. A crime is a violation of a law, and the state is the enforcer of the law. Criminal law is deliberately not structured as a dispute between the offender and the victim; it's between the offender and the state.
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ladyday
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I don't think TMZ should have any part in our legal system's due process and I *do* think the cynical timing of the video's release is pretty gross. The fact that calls to domestic violence hotlines and organizations have gone up in NJ in the wake of this video, that awareness and funding have increased, that this issue is seeing some much-needed daylight, do mitigate my disgust,some. We need to do so much better, though, that I don't know where to start.

I have a Ray Rice jersey in my closet, and I don't know what to do with it any more than I know what to say or do to make any of this right.

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kmbboots
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I think that the press (even TMZ) absolutely has a part in holding the people in power accountable. That too often they only do this for greedy or salacious reasons is our own fault.
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ElJay
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I think the timing of the video release probably has more to do with the fact that the casino where it happened shut down than anything else. Someone who had a copy lost their job, so no longer had anything to lose by selling the tape.
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Risuena
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ladyday - if you can get to the stadium on 9/19 or 9/20, the Ravens are doing a jersey exchange.
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fifawei
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(Post Removed by JanitorBlade. Spam)

[ September 19, 2014, 12:02 PM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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GaalDornick
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quote:
Originally posted by fifawei:
[QB] Definitely worth checking out if you know anyone that enjoys a good, informative lecture.

Psh. You won't find anyone like that here.
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