14 Tweets Answer 'Why I Stayed.' 11 Broke My Heart, But The Last 3 Gave Me Hope.

TRIGGER WARNING: This post talks about domestic violence.After surveillance video was released of footballer Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée (now wife) in an elevator, the inevitable (and really awful) victim-blaming began. Most echoed, "Why would she marry him after that?" or "Why didn't she just leave?" proving how little the average person understands about the cycle of abuse. The #WhyIStayed hashtag was started by writer Beverly Gooden (@bevtgooden) expose what abuse victims go through and why it's so important to focus on helping rather than blaming.

One important thing to keep in mind: People often don't realize they're in an abusive relationship because the behavior has become so normalized. Security expert Gavin de Becker developed a free anonymous online tool called MOSIAC that anyone can use to pinpoint the signs of an abusive relationship and get connected with the help they need.