By social media editor Melony Roy

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The video of Ray Rice punching his wife in a elevator in Atlantic City  has sparked a complex conversation about domestic violence on Twitter.

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A common response to revelations of domestic violence — and, specifically, the video of Ray Rice assaulting his then-fiancée in an elevator — is, “Why didn’t she leave him?”

Domestic abuse survivors are taking to Twitter to answer this question, using the hashtag #WhyIStayed.

“The best way to understand is to hear directly from survivors, because intimate partner violence is very complex and most people do not understand the dynamics with it,”  says Jeannine Lisitski, executive director of the Philadelphia-based Women Against Abuse.

Thousands of tweets from both men and women across the nation flooded timelines, and #WhyIStayed is still trending on Twitter.

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“What we know is that one in three women in their lifetime will experience physical domestic violence, and one in four serious phyical domestic violence,” Lisitski points out.

The hashtag has also sparked a similar #WhyILeft campaign.


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