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Rice’s conduct shines a much needed light on spousal abuse

Ray Rice press conference
Ray Rice press conferencePhoto by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Ray Rice has been suspended for the first 2 games of the 2014 football season, according to a July 24 article in the New York Daily News. Rice was suspended for allegedly knocking his then fiancé unconscious and dragging her across a floor. The incident was captured on a hotel security camera.

Rice, according to the New York Times, was charged with assault, and pled not guilty. In March, Rice entered a program which allowed him to avoid jail time. Rice and his fiancé have since married.

Rice’s alleged actions have drawn attention to the subject of spousal abuse. According to the website Safe Horizon; 1 in 4 women will be the victim of spousal abuse in their lifetime. Of those,1 in 3 will be murdered by their abusive spouse. Domestic violence remains the third leading cause of homelessness among families.

50 men and 50 women in the Midwest were asked if they were ever the victim of abuse of any kind. 23% of them (16 women and 7 men) said they had experienced verbal or physical abuse. Of the 23 that experienced abuse, 22 said they would leave their spouse if it happened again. Only 1 said that they would stick around and attempt to work it out.

The Bible has several passages that address and speak to God’s honoring of marriage; but has few that speak directly to divorce. The Bible, in Matthew 19:6, views marriage as 2 people essentially becoming 1 in marriage, and urges man to avoid separating them. It views divorce as a last resort, and offers adultery as a justifiable reason for it; but that was not the original plan (Matthew 19:8)

Ray Rice’s alleged abuse is unfortunately no different than what happens in homes all over the world. And, like so many cases of abuse, the abused spouse attempts to assume responsibility for what transpired. If you could offer advice to Rice’s wife, what would you say to her?