Women Start #WhyIStayed Twitter Trend To Defend Those Who Stay In Abusive Relationships

Just because she stays, doesn't make it her fault.

After TMZ released a video of ex-Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice savagely knocking out his former fiancé (now wife) the internet was outraged.

As the focus shifted from the issue — domestic abuse — and started to focus on his then-fiancee, now-wife Janay Palmer, many people, including the FOX & Friends hosts asked or alluded to one question: Why did she stay?

Blogger Beverly Gooden spoke up about her own experiences with #WhyIStayed, proving how draining, dangerous, and complex abusive relationships can be:

I can't speak for Janay Rice, but I can speak for Beverly Gooden. Why did I stay? Check out some of my reasons here. Leaving was a process, not an event. And sometimes it takes awhile to navigate through the process.

I believe in storytelling. I believe in the power of shared experience. I believe that we find strength in community. That is why I created this hashtag. I hope those tweeting using #WhyIStayed find a voice, find love, find compassion, and find hope.

Overnight, more women spoke up, similarly as they have with the #YesAllWomen trend which brought awareness to sexism and male entitlement that ultimately kills women. This time, abuse survivors spoke up to let the world know that violence and staying within the cycle of it is more common than you think. And no, doing so doesn't make it your fault.

If you need help or know someone who does, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Open 24/7.