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Superstars and average folks: domestic violence is NEVER okay

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Domestic violence is a topic that can cause a serious uproar in society. A few months ago, video surfaced of Ray Rice punching his then fiancée, Janay Palmer, in the face. The punch leaves her motionless on the elevator floor. Rice then drags her out of the elevator. This video led to the termination of Rice’s Baltimore Ravens contract and his suspension from the league, according to TMZ Sports.

Although the suspension was overturned over Thanksgiving break and Rice is now a free agent—he and Janay are giving all kinds of media interviews—most people say Rice was wrong for hitting her since it was strong enough to knock her unconscious, forcing him to drag Palmer out of the elevator, but others say that he was right for hitting her because she “spit in his face.”

But that isn’t the case; the video posted on TMZ shows Palmer hitting Rice before they enter the elevator. Once inside the elevator, Rice hits Palmer, causing her to lunge at him. After her lunge, he hits her again knocking her to the floor.

Aside from this case that has been brought to attention by the media, there are many other cases that happen in the households of many common people all over. According to statistics from safehorizon.org, every nine seconds in the U.S., a woman is either abused or assaulted. Statistics also state that women experience four million rapes and physical assaults, whereas men experience three million physical assaults. So, domestic violence is a problem affecting men AND women.

Domestic violence is NEVER okay. Be it a male or female victim, domestic violence should not be something anyone should condone. A man should not hit a woman nor should a woman hit a man.

Men and women should be held equally accountable for domestic violence.

We’ve been taught in school to “keep your hands and feet to yourself.” Parents also teach children not to be violent with other people. But, some children, including having heard it from our own families, are told that if someone were to hit you, they should be hit back. Teaching that to a child isn’t at all beneficial and could most likely be why we hear about domestic violence or any violence at all.

Now, we’re not saying you can’t be assertive. But there is a difference between being assertive and being abusive. If there were to be a disagreement or conflict, it should be dealt with in a civil manner, NOT by lashing out at each other.

Even if you were subjected to abuse, it would not help the situation to retaliate. Instead, you should let someone become aware of your situation. Tell someone close to you for them to report it to authorities, or even better, report it on your own.  By letting someone know what you’re dealing with, you’re getting one step closer to getting away from the situation.

No victims should ever be afraid to let someone know what they’re going through. If you feel as though you cannot confide in someone around you, there are hotlines for domestic violence victims, as well as rape and sexual assault victims. And if you know of a situation where there is abuse going on, notify someone immediately. Speaking out cannot only end the problem, but also save someone’s life.

Brooklyn Nevarez and Terrik Roddey, contributors

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