Will somebody please check on Janay Palmer Rice? I fear she is possibly in more danger now than before her husband, star football player Ray Rice, knocked her out cold. 

The elevator surveillance tape revealing the knockout punch and his dragging her unconscious body stirred public outrage and shock. The Baltimore Ravens were forced to fire the popular running back, and the NFL was forced to suspend him indefinitely.  The tape went viral, and once again, brought front and center the issue of domestic violence and football culture.

Oddly, in the initial hubbub, the fate of victim Janay Rice was pushed to the sidelines. But a day after the video went public, Janay posted on Instagram blaming the media for her pain, saying it was horrible “to make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day.” She ended her post vowing, “We will continue to grow and show the world what real love is.”

Her statement is stunning in its pathology. It’s a textbook reaction from an abused woman living in denial and fear. Hers is the all too common response of battered women brainwashed to believe this is real love, or too frightened to believe anything else.

I don’t have to consult the legions of domestic abuse experts, or the volumes of documentation about domestic violence to know what’s really going on. I know because I saw the same behavior up close when my cousin married an abuser. Of course we didn’t know. We did know we didn’t like him, which made her even more determined to be with him. It would be many years, and several brave escape attempts before we learned that on her wedding night he hit her hard enough to propel her across the hotel room. And to learn there was a reason she steadfastly ignored our many efforts to get her to leave. She stayed because he threated to kill US if she left.

When my cousin was finally able to make the difficult psychological and physical break, she worked to earn her credentials to counsel abused women. But not before her ex-husband went to her job wielding a gun, and shot her. Fortunately, she survived.

Remember Janay was prompted by her husband to apologize “for the role I played in the incident last night” at the Ray Rice I’m sorry press conference—even though she was knocked unconscious. But now Ray’s violent behavior is on full display in the second more explicit tape. Overnight, he has gone from a triumphant return to the Ravens stadium and a standing ovation-- to a pariah, forbidden to play the game that brought him fame and fortune.  And there is the very real likelihood that he follows the pattern of a serial domestic abuser, blaming Janay for his misfortune, and pummeling her with fists of anger and frustration.

I feel helpless having seen the video and fearful knowing what I know second hand. I fervently hope that today, and in the weeks and months to come, somebody will check on Janay.

Callie Crossley is the host of Under the Radar