Jane Keiffer and Judy Strnad of the Artemis Domestic Violence Center in Dayton explain why Janay Rice may be taking up for her husband Ray Rice.

Why Janay Rice may be defending Ray Rice

Janay Rice’s actions and motivations have been questioned since she posted an Instagram message defending her husband despite the release of a tape of him “cold-cocking” her in an Atlantic City elevator.

Read: Janay Rice posts on Instagram: Husband’s release a ‘horrible nightmare’

Artemis Center Executive Director Judy Strnad and Jane Keiffer, the domestic violence center’s clinical services director, said there are likely a number of reasons Janay Rice may be “standing by her man.”

Still, they say she should not be scrutinized.

“We go back to victim blaming and ‘why is she staying’,” Keiffer said. “We need to be asking the questions of why does he get to do what he does and why does he get away with it? Clearly the NFL has suspended him this year, but we have to see what the (final) outcome is. It wasn’t her fault that he knocked her unconscious. It was his choice to throw the punch.”

The Baltimore Ravens let Ray Rice go Monday and the NFL suspended him indefinitely after TMZ Sports released a video showing him pummel Janay Rice, his then-fiancee, inside of an elevator in February.

The NFL suspended Rice for domestic violence on July 24 for two games. Officials said they did not see the video until it was released by TMZ.

Rice was charged criminally with felony aggravated assault in the case, according to the Associated Press.

In May, the running back was accepted into a pretrial intervention program that allowed him to avoid jail time and could lead to the charge being purged from his record.

Keiffer wondered how “indefinite” Rice’s suspension from the NFL will be.

She pointed to Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who settled a lawsuit in 2012 related to a 2008 rape accusation as an example of a NFL player who rebounded after being embroiled in a controversy.

“I would like to think he (Ray Rice) will lose some status, but I think the NFL is more powerful than a victim’s voice,” Keiffer said.

Contact this blogger at arobinson@DaytonDailyNews.com or Twitter.com/DDNSmartMouth

Domestic abuse in the spotlight with #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft hashtag campaigns

"The reality is one in four women in this country will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. This is not just a problem of athletes: this is reality of 25 percent of American women's lives; and so, it's not about football--it's about: What is our culture? What are our expectations of men in this culture, and are we going to change them?" Liz Roberts, Safe Horizon deputy CEO and CPO said.

Writer Beverly Gooden, herself a domestic abuse survivor, remembers the guilt and shame she felt for staying in an abusive relationship. She decided to take to Twitter to sound off on why she stayed and why she eventually left her abusive relationship. Gooden hopes to raise awareness about the complex issues surrounding domestic abuse.

Domestic violence survivors are sounding off with two hashtag campaigns, #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft.

The dual hashtag campaigns have quickly gone viral and have become trending topics on Twitter.

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