Privacy or Poster Child: Janay Rice and the Painful Spotlight of Domestic Violence


This past week, Janay Rice finally told her side of the story. In a highly orchestrated rollout with an interview published by ESPN’s Jemele Hill last Friday and a two-part interview with Matt Lauer on the Today show earlier this week, Janay consistently strove to distance herself from her image as the country’s latest poster child for domestic violence. She did so, however, by telling Lauer that her violent encounter with her husband, Ray Rice, was just an one-time act and that unlike a real domestic violence victim she would never remain “silent” and let that “just happen again.”

Janay’s assessment of domestic violence victims as passive and quietly enduring their trauma reveals a troubling logic: if not for the release of the elevator footage of Ray punching her and dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator, Janay might well have been another victim who endured that night in…

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