The gross number of people who are blaming Janay don't understand the complexities of domestic violence. More so, they don't understand how they have been groomed to victim blame. Janay Rice, who was punched in the face by her then fiance, is blaming herself -- that shouldn't excuse Ray Rice's behavior, that should make it all the more disturbing.
It s saddening that she feels the need to excuse and defend the man who beat her. It's saddening, but it's not surprising. It's not surprising when her husband is so threatening he is violent. It's not surprising when her husband is the one continually supported and protected by the very rich and powerful men of the National Football League. It's not surprising when thousands of fans have also come to his defense. The fact that this woman feels the need to defend the person who has brutalized her is a troubling result of our culture, a culture that puts the responsibility of abuse on the victim. Janay is not unlike the girl who is raped at a party and feels like it is her fault because she had been drinking. Women are told over and over again that it is their fault.
If you want to feel truly sick, search Ray Rice on twitter and read all the thousands of tweets from men and women across the country who agree that it is her fault. We all saw the video tape, and yet we can find a way to justify Rice's behavior? If so, then Rice isn't the only one responsible, here. We are, too. We are also responsible if our reaction to that tape is to blame the person who was knocked unconscious and then dragged across the floor by the man who loves her.