The unfortunate release of the Ray Rice video has subjected his wife, the victim, to criticism often feared by domestic violence victims. Many victims are too afraid and ashamed to leave their abusers.

The video, though impactful, places the victim under unnecessary and unwarranted scrutiny. No one suffering in these situations wants nor should they have their business open to the world for public analysis.

The release of the video in no way helps the victim and could very well push current victims further in the closet.

As a community, we need to understand the real issues of domestic violence and should advocate that these victims are shielded much like rape victims. Their privacy is important not only for their safety but also for their healing.

Fortunately, this victim is alive and has access to much-needed treatment. The heightened visibility could easily result in a suicide, homicide or both.

Melissa Haley

social worker

New Orleans