LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Focus on the issue of domestic violence is renewed after new video surfaced showing former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice assaulting his then-fiance in an elevator.

Rice, it was announced Monday, was released from the team and faces indefinite suspension from the NFL.

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In Southern California, local victim’s advocates discussed the issue, and what it means when it involves high-profile figures, such as Rice.

The organization Peace Over Violence took notice that it may have been the anticipation and fear of a public-relations nightmare surrounding the video that prompted the running back to lose his job, which is characteristic of a pattern of “celebrity justice” they have seen before.

“We really feel that what a victim says should be taken seriously, regardless of whether or not you can see it with your eyes,” counselor advocate Melodie Kruspodin said.

Now, advocacy groups are speaking out over the topic of domestic violence.

Through the Face Forward Foundation, Deborah Alessi and her husband, David Alessi, provide free reconstructive surgery to thousands of domestic-violence victims.

Alessi, who is a survivor of abuse, says that when famous individuals are involved, the attention can generate a surge of calls from victims to service centers.

However, she agrees the challenge occurs when consequences for a famous offender send the wrong message, as she believes the NFL’s initial two-game suspension did.

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“He’s got fans all over the country, and this person is teaching young men that this is OK, and he’s also teaching women who are maybe in an abused relationship that you need to stay, because I’m doing it, so it must be OK,” Alessi said.

Face Forward is set Saturday to host a major fundraising gala, as well as the unveiling of a new PSA campaign, featuring professional athletes.

Other notables expected at the gala include “American Pie” actress Jennifer Coolidge, “Charlie And The Chocolate Factory” actress Missi Pyle, actress Anne Heche and others.

The fundraising event hopes to raise over $500,000 to support those who are physically affected by domestic violence.

The event will take place at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, 506 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90071, from 6:30 p.m. to midnight.

For more information on the event, click here.


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Ravens RB Ray Rice Released, Suspended Indefinitely After New Abuse Video Surfaces