How #WhyIStayed Was Used to Make Changes

One short hashtag shared on social media can cause a movement if it catches wind. In 2014, security camera footage showing NFL player Ray Rice violently hitting his then-fiancee was released. This video initiated a conversation of why domestic abuse victims stay in toxic relationships. In response, Beverly Gooden, a domestic abuse survivor, created #WhyIStayed to change the conversation surrounding domestic violence. Within hours, the hashtag was trending and shortly after, #WhyILeft was added to the conversations.

Many victims took to Twitter to share their reasons. Many said they felt trapped, they feared for their lives. One woman said that after being repeatedly told by her abuser that her family didn’t love her, she believed it and felt that she had no one else to go to.

Others took to Twitter to show support.

But even so, there were Twitter users who were not supportive and found backlash in #WhyIStayed.

The hashtag has since been used for many other silly reasons, like someone who got sucked into a Netflix binge.


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