Issue of Domestic Violence in National Spotlight PDF Print Email
Written by Bao Vang   
Friday, September 12, 2014 02:19 PM

BLAINE, Minn. -- The issue of domestic violence is in the spotlight after a high profile incident involving an NFL player.

A lot of people are talking about the leaked surveillance video showing former NFL player Ray Rice physically abusing his then fiancee, now wife.

Rice was cut by the Baltimore Ravens, and suspended by the league indefinitely this week.  But the video is prompting a national dialogue on abuse, something a local women's shelter says is a step in the right direction.

In a New Jersey casino surveillance video obtained by TMZ, Ray Rice is seen punching Janay Rice, in an elevator, then dragging her body.

"I was shocked," reacts Connie Moore, the Executive Director of Alexandra House, Anoka County's only facility working to end domestic violence and sexual assault. Moore says the fact that millions of people have watched Janay Rice being abused revictimizes her over and over again.

And to make it worse, she says people often blame the victim questioning 'Why did she stay with him?' or 'What did she do to him first?'

"The conversation about this shouldn't be about her, it should be about him. and why is it that he's doing what he's doing and why didn't the system hold him accountable?" said Moore.

She adds the punishment by the NFL to suspend Rice indefinitely is not enough.

"The whole investigation by his team or the NFL obviously really wasn't what it needed to be," Moore said.

It's not just the NFL though, she says. We aren't doing our part as a community. We all play a role in changing a culture that sometimes ignores the issue or allows perpetrators to get away with abuse.

It starts with what many of us are doing now -- talking about it.

"What I'd like to see is we have this conversation all the time, this is huge issue for our country. it's not something that just happens here and there and only to certain people," says Moore.

According to The Alexandra House, 1 in 3 women will be the victim of domestic abuse at some point during her lifetime. And an estimated 80 percent of domestic assaults go unreported. Each year the Alexandra House serves around 2,700 victims of domestic and sexual violence.

By the way the 10th annual Walk for Hope is coming up at 8 a.m. on Saturday, September 27 at Bunker Hills Regional Park. It's your opportunity to support and raise money for the Alexandra House.

For more information, click here.

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