Over the past few days, my social media streams have been flooded by photos of people wearing Rice Ray costumes. If you are unfamiliar with Ray Rice, he was an NFL running back who was caught on tape beating his fiancee in an elevator. In other words, he is an abuser.
As I scrolled through the photos, I saw the following captions and hashtags:
“I’m going home to beat my wife.”
I even saw one photo of a child who was no more than five years old dressed as Ray Rice and dragging a doll behind him. Many people commented on the photo saying, it was so cute.
As a person who has experienced domestic violence, I’m deeply troubled by how cavalier some people are towards abuse. It is obvious that these people have never experienced the horror of domestic violence. They don’t know the physical pain and emotion turmoil that it causes.
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone such as:
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
- Economic Abuse
- Psychological Abuse
Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender and it affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Domestic violence not only affects those who are abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members, friends, co-workers, other witnesses, and the community at large. Children, who grow up witnessing domestic violence, are among those seriously affected by this crime. Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only predisposes children to numerous social and physical problems, but also teaches them that violence is a normal way of life – therefore, increasing their risk of becoming society’s next generation of victims and abusers.
Domestic violence can leave deep emotional wounds that take years to heal. Making light of the situation by dressing up as an abuser is inconsiderate, insensitive, and offensive.
I find no humor in the Ray Rice costumes. All I see is a lack of compassion.