Bev Gooden

Activist, Creator of #whyistayed


"Why do they stay?" We've heard the question over and over. In 2014, this judgmental indictment of survivors got louder. Bev Gooden changed the entire conversation with the #WhyIStayed Movement, sharing the complex realities survivors face, prioritizing their agency, and discussing real solutions for supporting them:

"It’s not easy to leave someone you love. It’s not easy to leave when you have nowhere to go. It’s not easy to leave when you are threatened. It’s not easy to leave when you remember how it used to be, or when they romance you during the good times, or when they promise it is the last time. Because you believe in love and you believe in them."

This resonated with thousands of survivors, who told their own stories using the hashtag. #WhyIStayed was subsequently named by TIME as one of the Top 10 Hashtags That Started a Conversation, and is one of 8 Hashtags That Changed The World according to CNN affiliate, HLN. 

We are honored that Bev Gooden will be joining us in a Courageous Conversation Panel at Shifting the Lens, following A CALL TO MEN CEO Tony Porter's interview with Ray Rice. In an honest, insightful statement ahead of the conference, Bev has shared how she feels:

"I have a lot of emotions about Ray Rice being at the conference and I’m choosing to honor all of them. When I was first told that he was going to be there, my initial response was 'oh' mixed with a little bit of 'what the hell?' Then I thought to myself, I want to know some things. I want to know why he feels whatever work he’s done gives him a public voice now. I want him to explain to the advocates in the room exactly how he's changed and why that change is credible, knowing what we know about recidivism. I want to know about the work he is doing with other men in areas of anger and masculinity and how that has influenced his own heart."