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ESSENCE Poll: What Do You Do When You Suspect a Friend is in An Abusive Relationship?

With domestic abuse in the headlines, we want to know what you think. 

Yesterday, Ray Rice’s wife Janay Rice’s experience with domestic abuse became front-page news. When the video of her then fiancé, now husband, was released, showing him punching her in the face, many wondered why she stayed with him, and eventually married him.

Rice is standing by her husband. In a statement on Instagram she wondered why the public couldn’t understand that “this is our life.”

“No one knows the pain that [the] media & unwanted options [sic] from the public has caused my family,” she wrote. “Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is!”

Back in 2009, the public also wondered why Rihanna stayed after her then-boyfriend Chris Brown assaulted her before the Grammys. Both are women in the public eye. And, of course, this story is repeated all too often with women who are not in the public eye. You may have a sister, an aunt, or a BFF you suspect is in an abusive relationship.

With 1 in 4 women in the United States being the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime, we want to know: What do you do when you suspect a friend is in an abusive relationship? Do you personally counsel her in private? Do you direct her to outside help, pray for her, or do you stay out of it? Take our poll and let us know why in the comments below.

If you or anyone you know is or may be in an abusive relationship, call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) and for more informtaion, visit their website

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