GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Running Back Ray Rice was suspended from the NFL indefinitely Monday, after TMZ Sports posted surveillance video from an Atlantic City casino of an alleged domestic dispute between Rice and the woman who is now his wife.
Every day, the Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence helps victims of this awful crime. The folks who work there say they're proud of the NFL's decision to let Rice go.
They say it doesn't matter if you're the spouse of a famous football player or not, domestic violence doesn't discriminate.
"That's one of the myths of domestic violence. A lot of folks think it happens in the lower economic families, but that's not true," said Sandra Morrison who is the center's Executive Director.
The Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence sees women and children from all walks of life. The victims may not share the same socioeconomic background, but they share a need for help.
"In the more affluent families, we see that there is embarrassment. For some women it may be the fear of the unknown, but for these women it may be fear of what people will know," said Morrison.
Morrison says there is a cycle to abuse.
"You have the actually battering, and then after that you have the makeup stage or also what's called the honeymoon stage," said Morrison.
During the honeymoon phase spouses are often apologetic for their actions, but tensions will rise again, and blow ups will often reoccur.
"The duration of each phase of it can vary. It can be two days, two weeks, two years," said Morrison.
Domestic violence is unfortunately too common, and Morrison said when celebrities or athletics are involved, the crime can sometimes be downplayed. That's why she is happy about the NFL's decision.
"It's very few men who do battering, but it's a lot of men and a lot of others allow it to happen. So to have a group like this come out and say, 'We're not going to tolerate this,' speaks volumes," said Morrison.
Ray Rice was not only released by the Baltimore Ravens, but suspended indefinitely by the NFL.
If you or someone you know is suffering in a domestic violence situation, you can call the Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence at (228) 436-3809 or (800) 800-1396.