Rice beating video prompts discussion on domestic violence

PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- The disturbing video showing Ray Rice punching his now wife and knocking her unconscious has prompted a national debate about domestic violence.

Not long after cutting Rice from his team, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh spoke out about Rice's marriage.

"My pain is for both of them as a couple. Going forward, my hope is that they can make it work," said Harbaugh.

Even the White House weighed in.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest released a statement: "Hitting a woman is not something a real man does, and that's true whether or not an act of violence happens in the public eye, or, far too often, behind closed doors. Stopping domestic violence is something that's bigger than football-and all of us have a responsibility to put a stop to it."

On Twitter, women described their own experiences with domestic violence using the hashtags "why I stayed" and "why I left".

Dr. Linda Offray, executive director of the Shepherd's Door Domestic Violence Resource Center in Pasadena, said the video of Rice's attack was disturbing.

"When I saw the video, I was outraged, but not surprised," Offray said.

Offray said in her 15 years of experience, the victim of violence often stands by the batterer. That's what Rice's wife has chosen to do.

"Domestic violence is a power and control thing. It is one person having power and control over another person. So much to the point where they have control over the individual's mind," Offray said.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that 1.3 million women are assaulted by their partners every year, and one out of four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes.

"Once you admit that there is a problem, then you are able to start working on yourself," Offray said.

She said victims should not be afraid to speak up.

"Love don't hurt. No one deserves to be abused. No one deserves to be mistreated," Offray said. "Don't be embarrassed! Don't be ashamed because that's what we're here for."

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