Local News

Rice video could advance national discussion of domestic violence

Posted September 9, 2014 6:26 p.m. EDT

— A three-day statewide training conference on domestic violence begins Wednesday in Greensboro, and an advocacy group says some good may come out of the NFL's suspension of running back Ray Rice for knocking his then-fiancee unconscious in an Atlantic City casino elevator.

For many, the security video that went viral on Monday, leading to Rice losing his job with the Baltimore Ravens, is probably their first real look at domestic violence, according to Dana Mangum, executive director of the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

"What was behind those elevator doors a lot of times is what's behind closed doors," Mangum said Tuesday. "It's one of those messy subjects, one of those messy social issues that we have that a lot of people don't even want to admit to."

Janay Rice, who has since married Rice, posted a statement on Instagram Tuesday defending him.

"To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing," the statement said. "To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his (expletive) off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific."

As shocking as the video is, Mangum said she believes some good can come from it.

"That's how it happens, and that's how it looks," she said. "I would say it's probably better to get the social discussion going, to get this public. I'm sure it's embarrassing for her. It has to be."

One in four women are beaten or raped by a partner during adulthood, she said. So far this year, there have been about 48 domestic violence homicides in North Carolina.

"That's why I think seeing this is important and will push the envelope a bit," she said.