***Part of my new mission with this blog involves encouraging, empowering, and enlightening. I hope to do all three within this post***
Ray Rice was cut by the Ravens today.
I know I know, players get cut all the time in the NFL. But today was different. His was due to a domestic violence incident involving his now-wife, Janay.
There were two videos that surfaced of the incident in Atlantic City…the first video showed Ray dragging his then-fiancee’ ‘s unconscious, limp body out of the elevator. What went on inside the elevator was just implied that he had knocked her out, many suggesting that Janay instigated the situation (and I will get to that in just a minute). The second video however, shows Ray & Janay in the elevator, with delivering a serious punch to Janay, knocking her unconscious.
I’m not here to argue about his punishment. I think I’ve done that enough today.
I am here to talk to the ladies and gentlemen who have been affected by domestic violence. Or will be affected by domestic violence.
I am here to tell you that love does not hurt.
You may disagree with a significant other or annoy them, make them mad. It happens. They may make you mad. It happens. You don’t, however, place your hands on someone for ANY reason. You don’t call them out of their name, for ANY reason.
Women, I know we have a mouth on us, We can sometimes take things further than they need to. HOWEVER, make no mistake, this is NEVER a reason for a man to hit you, call you out of your name, spit on you, or cause you harm.
Women, we have the power to bring LIFE into a situation. If a man brings you to a place where you feel the need to demean him, place your hands on him, call him out of his name, or exhibit any behavior that is deemed abusive?
WALK AWAY. Go cool off. Seek professional help or a third party/mediator to solve a conflict if necessary. But there’s NOTHING in your actions that should cause you to provoke or exhibit violent behavior. You have purpose. You matter. You, woman, are POWERFUL BEYOND MEASURE. Use that power for good. And remember, you cannot make a man change. You can pray for change. You can encourage change, but ultimately…your words can build up or tear down. And your words should NEVER justify violence towards you in ANY relationship.
Men. Fellas. Many of you have witnessed domestic violence, or were a victim of it yourself. You are a KING. WALK LIKE ONE. TALK LIKE ONE. ACT LIKE ONE.
This doesn’t mean cracking your whip to ‘get her in line.’ Leadership is servanthood. Serve her. Love her. KNOW her. Cherish her. Protect her. That doesn’t involve placing your hands on her in any way, spitting on her, calling her out of her name. Violence is NEVER okay, even if/when she is provoking you. And if she is?
You have SO much to lose if you become violent towards her.
I’m raising a black boy. I will have to let him know that fair or not fair, the legal system is not on his side. Fair or not fair, he will be viewed and punished more harshly. So he will be held to a different standard. And he will know that. He will know to NEVER put his hand on a woman aside from restraining her.
Love encourages. It is patient. It celebrates. It protects. It is kind. It speaks life. It doesn’t boast or isn’t easily angered. It is not self seeking.
Not only does never fail, but it also doesn’t hurt.
***For more information on domestic violence, the signs, and where to go/who to call if you have experienced or are experienced domestic violence, visit thehotline.org, or call 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE). You can also visit http://www.domesticviolence.org/ ***