Tags: ben carson | ray rice | domestic violence | nfl | family

Ben Carson: A Domestic Violence Victim Doesn't Always Have to Leave

Image: Ben Carson: A Domestic Violence Victim Doesn't Always Have to Leave
(Laura Segall/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 05:27 PM

Dr. Ben Carson, who's called for an end to "demonizing" fired Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice, says the running back's domestic violence case illustrates that there are times when it's better for the entire family if an abuser and victim stay together.

In an essay for Time on Wednesday, Carson, a neurosurgeon and rising conservative star who is mulling a run for president, says "to imply that a woman or man is displaying weakness by staying in a relationship, or conversely, showing strength by leaving, is far too simplistic."

Rice is a case in point, he argues.

"The soundless video snapshot of that horrible two minutes in a casino elevator cannot possibly tell the whole story of the relationship between Ray and Janay Rice," Carson argues.

"It does not account for what went on before that moment nor the work that the couple has done in the months since the incident to repair the bonds of trust and respect between them and strengthen their family."

And, he adds, the recent release of the video and "the ensuing public condemnation has reopened wounds that may have been well on their way to healing."

The Ravens terminated Rice's multimillion-dollar contract just hours after TMZ Sports released a video in which the grid great is seen punching his fiancée, Janay Palmer, in the elevator of an Atlantic City hotel, knocking her out, in an incident that occurred in February.

The couple got married in March. 

Carson concedes there are times in which the abuse is so violent and dangerous "that nothing short of a total separation from the abuser is the only way of assuring the physical and emotional safety of the victim(s)," he writes.

But Rice's case illustrates a different solution, he argues.

"[W]hen there's strong spiritual and community support … the best option may be counseling or mediation or other less drastic measures" to help "prevent further harm: the harm caused by children growing up without a parent; the harm of losing economic opportunities that would help to strengthen the family; the harm to the community of destroying a family unit."

Carson writes the abuser and victim "as well as sometimes courts, counselors, pastors and other community resources" should decide if the relationship "is worth saving, and if so, what steps should be taken to try and heal the wounds and rebuild strong bonds of trust."

"When a family is involved the stakes are too high not to try," he says.

He says abuse victims who stay in a relationship sometimes only enable the abuser by hiding the violence from outsiders.

"But there are also situations in which the abusers are themselves the victims of abuse and in need of some form of intervention and treatment," he writes.

He argued similarly on "The Steve Malzberg Show" Monday.

"Let's not all jump on the bandwagon of demonizing this guy. He obviously has some real problems," Carson told the Newsmax TV host. "His wife knows that, because she subsequently married him."

His position triggered some criticism, however.

"It's not 'demonizing' to recognize that the horrific videos of him punching a woman out are in fact horrific," PJ Media comments. 


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Dr. Ben Carson, who's called for an end to "demonizing" fired Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice, says the running back's domestic violence case illustrates that there are times when it's better for the entire family if an abuser and victim stay together.
ben carson, ray rice, domestic violence, nfl, family
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2014-27-10
Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 05:27 PM
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