INSIDE EDITION Interviews Creator of #WhyIStayed
How could she stay with him? It's the question so many of us are asking following the truly disturbing video of Ray Rice punching out his wife.
And it's sparking a remarkable outpouring of emotion.
In an interview with INSIDE EDITION Beverly Gooden, says she was a victim of domestic abuse. "I was her, I was that person four years ago."
Gooden says she was a victim of domestic abuse and watching the Ray Rice video, she launched the hashtag "why I stayed" with this a tweet about her ex-husband: "He said he would change. He promised it was the last time. I believed him. He lied. #WhyIStayed".
That poignant message was followed by an avalanche of heartbreaking stories from other women.
One tweet read: "Because he told me he'd kill me if i left #WhyIStayed."
And this: "Was scared for my family & life, broke, ashamed, blamed myself. #whyistayed."
Gooden said, "It just kind of took off. It think it really goes to show how many are really going through this issue in secret."
An estimated 25% of American women experience domestic violence according to the National Coalition for Prevention of Domestic Abuse.
And while many find it hard to understand how Janay Rice can stand by her man, Beverly Gooden says she knows what Janay is going through.
"She loves him, and she thinks it's okay to be with him and she believes him. And that is a valid reason believe it or not. Like, that was part of my reason. I loved my ex-husband. I didn't want to leave him. I trusted him, I believed what he said when he said he wouldnt do it again," recounted Gooden.
But Gooden, a freelance writer from North Carolina, has a chilling warning for anyone who hopes their abusive husband or boyfriend will change: "A man who hits you, a man who punches you, chokes you, bites you, knocks you out is a man who hits. That is part of who he is and he will do it again."