MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The video has been all over social media, and it’s difficult to watch.  It shows ex-Ravens running back Ray Rice slug his then-fiancee Janay not once, but twice in an elevator at an Atlantic City Casino.  She was knocked out cold, then dragged out and left sprawled on the ground, laying there, not moving.

For a victim of domestic violence, that spoke to CBS4’s Ted Scouten, it was very difficult to watch. She said she under stood Janay’s pain.

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“What I went through was a lot of the grabbing, a lot of the shaking, choking,” she explained to Scouten while showing pictures.  “You can see a couple of bruises on my arm.”

For six years she lived in constant fear of abuse.  Two months ago, she had enough.

“I finally woke up and realized it’s not going to get better, no matter how many times the ‘I’m sorry’s came,’  no matter how passionate they were about the ‘I’m sorrys,’ she said.

With the help of a therapist, she packed up her two children and left.

“I realized that my life was not going to get better if I stayed,” she said.  “I realized that my children, they’re girls, they look up to me, they’re going to follow the same thing that I’m doing.”

But as a victim of domestic violence, she sees an upside to the video from inside the elevator; awareness.

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Abuse survivors from all over are sending out tweets like this one, “#WhyIstayed I was broke, alone and terrified #WhyILeft I found inner strength I didn’t know I had.”  “That’s amazing, that’s beautiful!” said Somy Ali.  “That’s good because now we are having dialogue.”

Ali and her group “No More Tears” helped the victim exit a life of abuse. She’s hoping this new awareness will help others realize there is help and hope.

“Some days you’ll still think, ‘Did I make the right decision?’ she said.  “When I wake up every single day without having the fear, I know that I made the right decision.”

For help 24-hours a day, call 211 in Miami Dade, Broward and The Keys.

You can also get more information by clicking the following links.


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Ted Scouten