Monday, March 9, 2009

Assault & Battery

Every music fan in the world has heard about singers Rihanna and Chris Brown: squeaky-clean R&B star accused of using his girlfriend as a punching bag. People were shocked to see the photo that showed Rihanna's bruised face and just as surprised when court documents revealed that he allegedly threatened to kill her on Grammy night. Personally, I was more shocked at how she was characterized via some media outlets: as a controlling, domineering girlfriend who was insecure about her relationship. It was like somehow, her actions had caused him to snap.

Just for the record, domestic violence is never the fault of the person being battered. It isn't what was or wasn't said or was or wasn't done that causes the a batterer to get physical no more than it is the bottle's fault an alcoholic gets drunk. That I know from personal experience.

My dirty little secret is this: I was once in a relationship with a person who hit, pushed and choked me. Doesn't matter that it only happened a few times, each time was frightening and followed by a promise that it would never happen again. After a particularly bad incident - our last - I left and only came back after he promised to seek help and find a counselor. Eventually, he did, it didn't help and we're not together today. But it took me a while to get to that "Enough!" point, evident by the fact that I went back to that idiot not once, but twice.

Now, there is buzz about a possible fan back lash against Rihanna because of her decision to go back to her boyfriend. Getting beaten up by your mate is one thing, but falling for the apology and actually taking him back is a whole 'nother story, the consensus seems to be, implying that she's stupid for being willing to let bygones be bygones. "Is she crazy?" we ask each other.

Probably not - just a young woman in love who hasn't reached her own "Enough!" point yet. Eventually, she will. I just hope it isn't after he hurts her so badly that she won't really have a choice.

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