Since yesterday the media has been playing the video from a domestic violence incident that occurred many months ago between the famous football player Ray Rice and his then fiance.
I am deeply disturbed by the media’s involvement in all of this. What Ray Rice did was beyond reprehensible and there should be consequences for his actions. What he did isn’t what is weighing on my mind.
What I can’t get over is how this woman, a victim, is now having to have her very personal business played and discussed over and over again on television stations and radios stations throughout the country. Probably all over the world it’s being talked about.
The debate and outrage are over how football, the Ravens and all those around this athlete handled the situation. Yet, doesn’t anyone realize what this is doing to the victim? This video didn’t just show him, it showed her in a very vulnerable and unthinkable situation.
My empathy for this woman comes from a very personal place. During the horrific death of my parents I had to call 9-1-1. A couple of days after my parent’s death I received a call from the chief of police letting me know that my 9-1-1 call was about ready to go live on the evening news.
Due to the manner of my parent’s death and because my father was retired from the Maui Police Department; the newspapers, television stations and radio stations couldn’t get enough of this story. They continually blasted one of the most terrifying moments of my life, everywhere. There was even a YouTube of it.
My kids couldn’t go to school without children and even adults talking about their death and the 9-1-1 call. Yes, they heard everything that was being said. I tried my best to shield my children and help them grieve the loss of their grandparents. I never wanted them to hear their mother crying for help and to hear what I was going through during that panic-stricken moment in my life.
I will never forget the moment after my parent’s death when I was waiting outside their home; my dearest friend had to tap me on the shoulder and pull me out of the view of some nearby neighbors. My parent’s neighbors were video taping me as I stood on a street corner distraught and rocked to my very core. Did videotaping my pain bring value to their life?
I know there is the argument that when you are a public figure this is what happens. There’s the very valid viewpoint of the right to free speech etc. I truly believe things like this need to be kept private. Not secretive, private. I never want a victim to keep quiet and be secretive, but, there needs to be a place where personal matters are kept private from public scrutiny.
A very wise and wonderful woman taught me there is a difference between privacy and secrecy. Videos and 9-1-1 calls have a very important place when it comes to police and investigative work. There is definitely a place for employers and those that work or come in contact with someone to have knowledge of certain things.
There is no value to anyone by playing these types of videos on the evening news or displaying them on rag magazines. Is it possible to find a balance when it comes to the public’s right to know? Can we have a place where there is privacy, discretion and the media still can do their job?
I decided on my own to start this blog and share my family’s story. This was a decision made by my choice and after working with a psychologist. I will never play the 9-1-1 call, nor do I do think I will ever be in a place where I could listen to it. To experience that moment again is frankly something I don’t think I’m capable of handling.
It is sad to know that one day this couple’s child will see this video. It hurts me to know that a victim is reliving a night that she probably already relives in her own head over and over again.
To have it played out for the entire world, is this ok? Did any of us really need to see what happened to her? I know I don’t, that’s why I make sure I sensor what my children and I watch.
I understand these things will never change and with the media the way it is, it will only get worse. Where money, power and the need to get ahead is on the mind of most; I don’t believe discretion will ever be a core value when it comes to those in the media.
As for me and my house, we won’t watch. All I can do is pray for those that are going through these very personal matters in a very public forum.
How do you feel when you see the media showing people’s personal struggles over and over again? Do you agree with the way other people’s turmoil, tragedies and heart breaks are displayed everywhere?
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