Dr Oz: Domestic Violence Response + National Domestic Abuse Hotline

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Dr Oz: Rise of Domestic Abuse

Dr Oz talked about Domestic Abuse, a national conversation that escalated after the Ray Rice incident that took place in an elevator. Rice was fired from his team, and other cases of domestic abuse by NFL players. The White House has spoken out against the league’s handling of these issues.

It has thrust the dialogue about domestic violence into the national spotlight, on the news and social media. Dr Oz invited Dr Drew Pinsky and domestic violence survivor Leslie Morgan Steiner, author of the memoir Crazy Love, to talk about their perspectives on these issues.

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Dr Oz: Terrible Mix of Love and Fear

Leslie talked about what it was like to see these stories in the headlines, as a survivor herself. “It just takes me back to my own story,” she said, recalling falling in love after Harvard and thinking she had found her soul mate.

Dr Oz: Domestic Violence Response + National Domestic Abuse Hotline

Dr Oz talked with Dr Drew Pinsky and domestic abuse survivor Leslie Morgan Steiner about the aftermath of domestic violence controversies involving the NFL. (Ed Samuel / Shutterstock.com)

He choked her five days before their wedding, but she mistook it for cold feet. The abuse continued on their honeymoon, and the abuse continued for four years during their marriage. She said that Domestic Violence is much worse than anyone can imagine.

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She said she sees “a terrible mix of love and fear” in Janay Rice, which is what she had in her own relationship. She also told Dr Oz there is reason for hope, because so many people from the NFL, the media, and socially are speaking up about survival. She also praised sponsors for taking a stand against this behavior.

Dr Oz: Abuse Psychological Trap

Dr Oz turned to Dr Drew Pinsky for an expert opinion. He said that Leslie’s story is not uncommon, but victims hide their stories because they are ashamed or embarrassed. 85% of women who leave may end up going back, 12 million are victims each year, and one in three have experienced it.

Leslie noted that it takes an average of seven attempts for a victim to leave and completely escape the situation. “I was caught in a psychological trap,” she said. Dr Drew noted that the abuser makes threats and uses coercion tactics.

Dr Oz: #WhyIStayed

Dr Oz called the social media response, with millions of tweets, cathartic. The hashtags #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft have resonated, and he asked Leslie about some of her own experiences.

Leslie said it is a common question, recalling that she loved her husband, though she was afraid of him. “It’s incredibly important not to blame the victims,” she said. Victims deserve dignity and respect, but they also need to know they are in danger.

Dr Oz: NFL Domestic Violence Response

Dr Drew Pinsky said that the situation can be confusing for the victims. Dr Oz talked about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s response, that the league wants to get better about addressing these issues. Leslie said those comments gave her hope.

Dr Oz asked Dr Drew whether therapy can help in a domestic violence situation. Dr Drew said that it can only work if both people want things to change. Why did Leslie finally leave? She was beaten so badly that the police intervened, and she was able to see things clearly and make a decision that probably saved her life.

Dr Oz: National Domestic Abuse Hotline

Dr Drew wanted victims to know they are not alone. He encouraged them to reach out and take advantage of resources that are available. Dr Oz said that people need to speak up when they witness abuse.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.

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