The physical altercation between Chris Brown and Rihanna has thrust domestic violence into the spotlight. Rihanna discussed the attack and her relationship with Chris Brown for the first time publicly with Diane Sawyer. In the interview, Rihanna stated that she eventually ended things with Chris Brown after thinking about the example that she was setting for other people that are experiencing domestic violence. Rihanna stated: “When I realized that my selfish decision for love could result in some young girl getting killed, I could not be easy with that.”
For anyone that saw the pictures of Rihanna’s battered face following the attack, hopefully it serves as a reminder of the severity of domestic violence. In addition to Rihanna speaking out against domestic violence, teenagers are sharing their advice regarding the warning signs of a dangerous relationship. In an article on “Teenhealthfx.com”, teenagers identified the following warning signs:
- Jealousy and possessiveness as opposed to mutual caring and respect.
- Drugs and alcohol use. Teens state that drug/alcohol use “are never an excuse for inexcusable behavior… A boyfriend or girlfriend who has a problem with drinking or drugs may be more likely to become abusive.”
- Bullying and intimidation.
- Being embarrassed or criticized in public. This kind of verbal abuse is unacceptable and can be just as hurtful as any other kind of abuse. Do not let any kind of abuse go unnoticed.
- If games/ playfulness within the relationship mess with your mind or feelings, this is a cause for concern.
- ANY ATTEMPT TO HURT OR SCARE YOU PHYSICALLY IS A LOUD AND CLEAR SIGNAL THAT YOU ARE IN A VOLATILE AND POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS SITUATION!!
- Talk! Talk! Talk! If you feel like something is wrong, trust your gut instincts and talk with a trusted adult. Talk about your concerns and do not become another statistic of domestic violence!
Oprah Winfrey also spoke out about the Rihanna and Chris Brown incident and warned women everywhere that “if a man hits you once, he’ll hit you again.” During her show, which aired live from Chicago with guest Tyra Banks, she highlighted last month’s domestic incident between singers Rihanna and Chris Brown. Although Brown has been charged with two felonies for allegedly attacking Rihanna, rumors continue to swirl that the duo are back together. Reports also indicate the two are recording a song together about love and that they may co-author a book about domestic violence.
“It’s so sad that even when you grow up in an environment and you disdain that environment, you really cannot help yourself until someone helps you,” Winfrey said.
Banks who’s interviewed both Brown and Rihanna separately on her show said that both singers have told her about their previous bouts with domestic abuse.
“Rihanna told me that her parents used to argue so intensely and she used to get these headaches, almost migraines… and it was almost a living hell for her,” Banks said. “The moment her parents separated, the headaches went away.”
Banks also said, “Brown witnessed domestic violence at home that scared him so much, that he used to pee in his bed.”
“When you grow up in an environment where there is abuse, it’s more acceptable to you,” Winfrey said, “If you go back with a man who hits you it’s because you don’t think you’re worthy of being with a man who won’t.”
QUOTES REGARDING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
“If you give me any problem in America I can trace it down to domestic violence. It is the cradle of most of the problems, economic, psychological, educational.”
“One in three women may suffer from abuse and violence in her lifetime. This is an appalling human rights violation, yet it remains one of the invisible and under-recognized pandemics of our time.”
“The schools play an important role when it comes down to protecting children against violence. Violence is one of the principal reasons why children don’t go to school. It’s also one of the causes of the alarming school dropout rates.”