Dr. E. Faye Williams, National President of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc.

Washington, DC — Dr. E. Faye Williams, National President of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc. has said the following with respect to not only the Ray Rice incident, but about domestic violence in general: “Several times in recent weeks I have written about domestic violence.  It’s wrong to denigrate any woman in my book, but I am especially alarmed by the increase of denigration and violence by law enforcement, gangsta rappers,  athletes and others against women.  Each time it happens, I wonder what could happen next.

The tragedy is that the violence continues, and too often it is against Black women.  Abusers seem to never learn that it is not okay to punch someone out because you disagree with something the person has said or done. It’s not okay to show off as to who controls your partner or wife.  It’s especially egregious when the person is someone you profess to love or any woman who is pregnant as in the most recent case in San Francisco with Ray McDonald. Michael Vick received greater punishment for abusing a dog than many abusers are receiving for what they do to Black women.

My heart is heavy as I hear Ray Rice’s spouse try to relieve her husband of responsibility by taking some of the responsibility upon herself when she is the one who was knocked unconscious.  It is quite likely Rice is blaming her, too, which puts her in even more danger around him now that he has been relieved of his job with the NFL. Even though I have seen the major networks use anybody but Black women to talk about domestic violence of the type we have been witnessing lately, as a Black woman, one who has been abused at the hand of a spouse, I know how hard it is to see a Black man punished, but I have a message to my sisters and would say to my sisters who decide not to have abusers prosecuted, this is not the way to resolve such barbaric treatment.  We must begin to speak out no matter who the abuser is.

Too many Black women who’ve loved the men in their lives through thick and thin have swept this problem under the rug for too long. We must rise up and fight against anyone who abuses us–physically, verbally or mentally. It isn’t worth it to protect abusers. We risk our own lives when we do.  If they abused you once, chances are high that they will do it again—and the next time is often worse.  Sisters, let us come together and decide we are just not going to take it anymore.  Let us be there for one another and help each other to overcome the fear of leaving abusers. I love men, but I hate abusers.  We cannot continue to just let it go.”

Dr. E. Faye Williams is National President of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc.  Domestic Violence is one of the projects of the NCBW.