Of all the figures in the Ray Rice scandal, his wife Janay is the most mysterious. Ray himself? An irredeemable villain. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who initially gave Ray a paltry two-game suspension? A coldhearted businessman protecting his bottom line. But what about Janay Rice, the woman who said “I do” to the running back a few weeks after he beat her into unconsciousness? Inexplicable.
In fact, 80% of domestic violence victims are back together with their abusers by the time of trial, and don’t want charges brought. As a DV prosecutor, I saw this over and over. I’d meet a woman the day of her attack. She’d be bloody and bruised and ready to send her assailant to jail. Two months later, on the day of trial, she’d be cuddling her abuser in the back of the courtroom. “Please, Ms. Leotta,” she’d say. “I don’t want him to go to jail. I love him. Drop the charges.”
If Janay Rice had been mugged by a stranger, she’d wanted him arrested. But being beaten by a man you love is a very different thing. [Read more…]