Why I created the #WhyIStayed Twitter hashtag.

For over a year, I was physically abused by my ex-husband. When TMZ released the video of Ray Rice punching, dragging, and spitting on his wife this morning, the internet exploded with questions about her. Why didn't she leave? Why did she marry him? Why did she stay?

I can't speak for Janay Rice, but I can speak for Beverly Gooden. Why did I stay? Check out some of my reasons here. Leaving was a process, not an event. And sometimes it takes awhile to navigate through the process.

I believe in storytelling. I believe in the power of shared experience. I believe that we find strength in community. That is why I created this hashtag. I hope those tweeting using #WhyIStayed find a voice, find love, find compassion, and find hope.