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05th Nov 2014

The #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft hashtags expose why domestic abuse victim-blaming is wrong

It's a complicated subject which requires a considered response...


When the news of NFL footballer Ray Rice’s despicable violence against Janay Palmer hit the headlines earlier this year, there was an outcry of awful, but unfortunately typical, victim-blaming.

Janay Palmer, who went on to marry Rice, received a deluge of messages questioning her decision and suggesting she was weak, stupid and had brought the problems on herself.

These messages have no place in a society which is standing up to domestic abuse and those who perpetrate it.

Men and women need to form an alliance against abuse and stand up to those who abuse; not blame the victim. SAFE Ireland’s new campaign, entitled MAN UP, is trying to get this message heard.

The campaign is about men showing pride and leadership, challenging abuse and violence, and supporting women and children. It’s about making Ireland a safer place.


There has to be an understanding for victims regarding the cycle of abuse. It is almost always more complicated than it appears.

After the Rice case, thousands of domestic abuse survivors took to social media to emphasize this. The #whyIstayed and #whyIleft hashtags were born and have remained popular ever since. They have given the public an insight into the complexities of domestic abuse and those who suffer because of it.

Here are some of the most poignant.

For more information about MAN UP click here.

The gentlemen in the images above are volunteers for this campaign.

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