ray riceThe  Ray Rice   incident is shedding light on one of America’s dirty little secrets.

Nearly 3 in 10 women (29%) and 1 in 10 men (10%) in the US have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by a partner and report a related impact on their functioning.[ii]

Nearly, 15% of women (14.8%) and 4% of men have been injured as a result of IPV that included rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.[iii]

1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.[iv]

IPV alone affects more than 12 million people each year.[v]

More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.[vi]

Nearly half of all women and men in the United States have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime (48.4% and 48.8%, respectively).[vii]

Females ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence.[viii]

From 1994 to 2010, about 4 in 5 victims of intimate partner violence were female.[ix]

Most female victims of intimate partner violence were previously victimized by the same offender, including 77% of females ages 18 to 24, 76% of females ages 25 to 34, and 81% of females ages 35 to 49.[x]

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

Domestic violence is rampant in our country, but until it affects one of our sports or music heroes (rihanna ) it is not talked about. 

This is a very real battle every day for a lot of regular people all over the country.  Last year I volunteered at a women’s shelter.  My Bible study group hosted a birthday party for the children and their mothers.  It was heart breaking to see these little families who must be holed up like prisoners to be kept safe from a menace to whom they are related by love and/ or blood.

It reminds me of the verse in the Bible where Jesus said,

 Matthew 10:34-36New Living Translation (NLT)

34 “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.

35 ‘I have come to set a man against his father,

    a daughter against her mother,

and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.

36

    Your enemies will be right in your own household!’

It is not God’s desire that there be division in families, but He knew that it is the nature of mankind.  He also knew that He would be a cause for division.

The source of the division is sin.

No one is truly wise;

    no one is seeking God.

 

12

All have turned away;

    all have become useless.

No one does good,

    not a single one.”

 

13

“Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.

    Their tongues are filled with lies.”

“Snake venom drips from their lips.” Romans 3:11-13

Though Jesus may cause division- he is also the only antidote to sin. Sin divides us from God and divides us from each other.

Romans 5:8 [Full Chapter]

 

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Through faith in Christ we are reconciled to God.

Ephesians 2:13

 

But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

This reconciliation with God will not perfect us in this life but by the power of the Holy Spirit we can have victory over sin and have reconciliation with each other.

Colossians 3

7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. 8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.

12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.

I am sorry for Mr. and Mrs. Rice that their relationship has been displayed for all the world to see.  I pray that Mr. Rice gets the help he needs.  There is a saying that “Hurt people, hurt people.” His pain must be great.

We are promised that through Christ:

Isaiah 53:5

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

May they find the healing that leads to peace.  May this incident lead to revealing this dark secret and bringing it to the Light that many more families may get the help and healing that they need.

God help America.

For more information on how your can help here is an organization with zero tolerance for domestic abuse that brings healing to families http://www.marykayfoundation.org