By Laura Stampler
September 9, 2014

The wife of disgraced NFL star Ray Rice defended her husband Tuesday after his suspension from the league for beating her unconscious, criticizing the media and the NFL for creating “a horrible nightmare” in her family’s life.

Janay Rice, whose beating by her husband was captured on a TMZ video leaked Monday, took to her Instagram to describe the pain of reliving a “moment in our lives that we regret every day.” The running back was cut from the Ravens following the release of the video, and he received an indefinite suspension from the NFL.

Her full statement reads:

I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend. But to have to accept the fact that it’s reality is a nightmare in itself. No one knows the pain that the media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass of for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific. THIS IS OUR LIFE! What don’t you all get. If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels. Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is! Ravensnation we love you!

Although Janay’s account was since been made private, a screenshot of the message has been circulating on Twitter:

Janay’s support of her husband and decision to stay in the marriage has garnered significant media attention. Thousands of women have since created a powerful hashtag called #WhyIStayed, explaining why women often remain in abusive relationships.

Write to Laura Stampler at laura.stampler@time.com.

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