Watch CBS News

Expert: Janay Rice's Defense Of Husband Isn't Uncommon Among Domestic Abuse Victims

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – On Tuesday, Janay Rice, wife of former Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice, posted a message on her Instagram, pointing her finger at the media for his being cut from the team and indefinite suspension from the NFL after viewing video of the elevator assault.

Laura Plotkin, director at the Center for Safety and Change in Rockland County, says Janay Rice's actions of defending her husband are not uncommon among victims of domestic abuse.

"Victims sometimes feel responsible for assault," she told WCBS 880's Marla Diamond. "She has the right to stay, she has the right to say how she feels, but it's our responsibility as a culture to make sure that other people aren't blaming her."

Expert: Janay Rice's Defense Of Husband Isn't Uncommon Among Domestic Abuse Victims

"I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I'm mourning the death of my closest friend," Janay Rice posted on Instagram. "But to have to accept the fact that it's reality is a nightmare in itself. No one knows the pain that the media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his a– of for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific."


Plotkin says domestic violence is among society's most complex issues but adds there is help out there.

Meanwhile, Liz Roberts of Safe Horizon, a domestic violence agency, told CBS 2's Tracee Carrasco that Palmer's words that almost amounted to defending Rice are tragically all too common.

"It is often the case that they blame themselves for the abuse that they feel, 'If I had done something differently -- if I had acted differently -- this wouldn't have happened to me,'" said Roberts, chief executive and programs officer for the agency. "It's not their fault. Nobody deserves to be knocked out."

Roberts said it would be unfair to speculate why Palmer married Rice shortly after the violent incident, or why she decided to stay.

"It may be that they truly love the person and they believe they can change. It may be that they're afraid the violence will escalate if they separate, and in fact, that is very commonly the case," she said.

Palmer added: "The abuse does isolate them. It isolates them because the abuser wants it so."

The videos show Rice and Palmer in an elevator at an Atlantic City casino. Each hits the other before Rice knocks Palmer off her feet and into a railing. Months ago, a TMZ video showed Rice dragging Palmer, now his wife, from the elevator at the Revel casino, which closed on Sept. 2.

You Might Also Be Interested In:

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.