Breaking Cycle Of Abuse Takes Time

Roxanne remarried at 24, then got divorced nine years later. She married again and was widowed after a dozen years of happiness. Her first husband, who pleaded not guilty in another domestic violence battery case in 1989 that was dismissed, court records show, has also since passed away.

Advocates for domestic victims, including Sedillo Lopez, Fuller, and others interviewed were quick to say that asking why a woman would choose to stay is the wrong question, anyway.

"It's almost victim-blaming," said Lynn GentryWood, executive director of the Domestic Violence Resource Center of New Mexico, which sees 2,500 victims every year. Whether the conversation is about local victims, or the now-wife of Rice, the former Baltimore Raven, and why they stayed, it needs to go another way, she said. "We're very adamant about changing the conversation in our community from: 'Why do victims stay?' to: 'Why do abusers abuse?'"

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