Fallout from Ray Rice Video Sparks Public Conversation on Domestic Violence

Domestic violence experts said the video of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée and the fallout from the attack has sparked a public conversation on domestic violence. For some, that conversation centers around why Janay Rice chose to stay, and even marry the recently suspended NFL player.

But domestic violence counselors said that question needs to change.

Kathleen Krenek, executive director of Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence, said people should not be focused on why Janay stayed, but instead should focus on why Ray Rice attacked her.

Krenek also said, in general, women preparing to leave face the biggest risk.

"The most dangerous time for a battered woman is when they are preparing to leave or they have left," she said.

Many are also suggesting the attack and the video would be the key to changing what is often a very private conversation about domestic violence.

It was evident on social media on Tuesday. The hash tags #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft was trending on Twitter, filling news feeds with stories of those who survived domestic violence.

One woman tweeted: "#WHYISTAYED I thought he was my best friend #WHYILEFT I became my own best friend."

Krenek said she will continue to work to hold abusers accountable and help victims get on their feet.

"It can happen to anybody," she said. "No one is exempt."

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