Abuse awareness trends after Rice video release

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The fallout continued Tuesday after the release of surveillance video showing a now-former National Football League star in a violent exchange with a woman who is now his wife.

The Baltimore Ravens cut running back Ray Rice on Monday for what appeared to be a very public example of domestic abuse. Images captured in a New Jersey hotel and casino show Rice and Janay Palmer fighting on an elevator. Rice knocked Palmer down, unconscious.

Those images have prompted a grassroots social media campaign shedding public light on personal experiences with abusive relationships.

Thousands of women and men have turned to Twitter using #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft to tell of the transition many victims of domestic abuse have gone through to escape their situation.

The tweets provide examples of what one central Indiana domestic violence expert said is very common; victims express a cycle of emotional excuses for the abuse.

“A lot of times, the victim does feel the blame and they feel somehow responsible for not making their partner comfortable enough or keeping the rules enough to avoid the violence,” Julia Kathary, executive director of Coburn Place Safe Haven in Indianapolis said. “At the end of the day, the violence in not the victim’s fault.”

The Twitter trend has fired up quickly with new tweets posted every few seconds.

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