Domestic violence survivor reacts to video of Ray Rice punching then fiancé in elevator

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(PIX11) -- The elevator surveillance video is disturbing  and powerful for all the wrong reasons.

But for Amelia Gonzalez, newly released footage of NFL running back Ray Rice delivering a knockout punch to his then fiancé Janay Palmer on Valentine’s Day weekend is also a painful reminder of her own past.

“I had to break the cycle of abuse. And I had to get help,” said Gonzalez.

Whether or not Rice and wife have a history of abuse is not the focus of this story.

But there’s mounting criticism of how the NFL punished one of its star athletes when the first telling video surfaced, as he dragged a still unconscious Palmer out of the elevator, and into the hallway.

Earlier this year the public, and supposedly the NFL, did not know about the clip that showed the knockout punch.

But psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Gardere questions whether that should have even mattered.

“The facts have not changed. The fact that we have to see a video – see the actual knocking out of this young woman. I think speaks volumes as to where we are in society that unless we see it, in our face, in our eyes, that we give all sorts of doubt, or in this case, give all sorts of benefit of the doubt to the person who is the aggressor,” said Dr. Gardere.

The NFL, with its billion dollar franchises, vast resources, and seasoned investigators, never knew about the elevator video and say that the Atlantic County Prosecutors office never handed it over.

But after TMZ Sports managed to get the video, Gonzalez says she was not surprised to see the NFL amend Rice’s initial suspension from two games to indefinitely, and for the Baltimore Ravens to terminate his multi-million dollar contract.

“My reaction to that is that the NFL is a business. But being that it did come out, they had to do something proactive, and actually get rid of him,” said Gonzalez.