"She Believes it Was Her Fault:" Life Crisis Center Director Off - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

"She Believes it Was Her Fault:" Life Crisis Center Director Offers Insight into Domestic Violence

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SALISBURY, Md.- In the wake of the release of disturbing video showing Ray Rice assaulting his then-fiancee, the issue of domestic violence is being thrust into the spotlight. Michele Hughes, executive director of the Life Crisis Center in Salisbury, says it is not uncommon for women in abusive relationships to stay with their abuser.

"Most of these women believe that this is nothing more than they should expect," she explained. "This young woman has been involved with Ray Rice since she was in high school, so I am relatively certain this is not the first time he's put his hands on her."

Janay Rice posted a statement Tuesday defending her husband, and expressing anger at the media.

"The first thing that he said to her when it became public was, 'this is all your fault.' She believes it was her fault," Hughes said. "The first thing that she said in the news conference, which they had jointly, was that she regretted her part in this. All along, she has insisted that she triggered this, and this is very common in victims of domestic violence."

Hughes said the roots of the issue run deep.

"Until we change the underlying attitude that says that a woman doesn't have any worth, except as she's attached to a man, and until we teach boys to treat girls with respect, and vice versa, this is going to continue to happen," she noted. "Domestic violence is a very difficult problem to stop, and that's because we have to start with children."

If you or anyone you know needs help, call the Life Crisis Center at (410) 749-HELP.

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