Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Rhianna and Chris Brown: Love Gone Wrong!
Let's cut to the chase - no one knows what happened between Chris Brown and Rhianna. They both seem like nice and likeable individuals whose newfound relationship some of us appreciated from a distance. It was the boy and girl next door kind of romance that makes us feel anything is possible and help rekindle black love. In that regard they aren't much different from any of us. We are all looking for love or working on nurturing the love in our lives if we have been fortunate enough to find love.
Someone beat Rhianna as reflected in the pictures that were recently leaked. I have not seen any statements from Chris Brown refuting the accusations that he was the perpetrator. The fact that he has been remanded to "anger management classes" begs the issue. Violence is not about anger although it may involve anger. One writer posted the following on one of those "write-and-tell-us-what-you-think columns:
"anger is not the right treatment for someone who is abusive. What he needs is a BATTERERS INTERVENTION Program.It's not an anger issue it's a need for power and control over an intimate partner issue!!! So frustrating!!! Kate 2/25/09
Kate raises an important point that not too many of us get. We think violence is about losing control. Violence is about gaining control - over the other person or persons. No one is trying to make Rhianna out to be a saint. What I want to do is put forth a new bottom line that goes beyond, "a man should not hit a woman." My bottom line goes to the heart of the matter, that is, provocation does not justify violence. Let me say that again, "provocation does not justify violence." Many people automatically ask or think, "what did she do to make him hit her?" What if she provoked him? Chris had options. He could have walked away! He could have handled it any other way. Those individuals that are predicting the end of his career are living in la la land. People are very forgiving. And in a society that normalizes violence we tend to minimize violence against women. The following comment is fairly typical though sad:
"I don't think people should be so hard on Chris it's not like he killed her if it waz a regular guy that waz beating up his girlfriend they wouldn't be so hard on him. . . give Chris Brown a break and a second chance. . . 2/17/09
No one deserves to be beaten. Not Rhianna, not Chris - no one. We can love and appreciate both of them without feeling the need to rescue either of them. We don't have to choose between them. I repeat, we can love both of them and expect accountability from both Chris and Rhianna. Chris doesn't need anger management. He needs a program for batterers because that is what he is. You wouldn't send a sex addict to AA. A sex addict may also have a drinking problem in addition to the sex addiction but the treatment for the sex addicton has to be addressed with the appropriate intervention.
Regarding accountability for Rhianna. She ought to talk with a battered women's advocate. That will help her better understand the dynamics of abuse. She ought to learn that women that seek out shelter return to their abusive partners and leave and return on the average of six times. Rhianna is fortunately in a position that she would not need to seek shelter. The point is that women emotionally emeshed (engaged) with their partners find it hard to disengage even when violence exists. Is it hard for family, friends and loved ones to stand by while a battered woman returns? Absolutely! Nevertheless, it would be akin to leading a horse to water and trying to make them drink. They drink when they are thirsty - no sooner and no later. Battered women are similar in that we can lead them to the water but we cannot make them drink. They drink when they are ready. It is clear that the relationship is toxic. Neither Rhianna or Chris can obtain much happiness from it as long as the violence is present or the potential for violence. That kind of terror is not conducive to safety or freely exploring ones options.
Well, I have preached long enough. I felt this was such a teachable moment. Both Rhianna and Chris Brown are high visibility personalities and so this incident of violence got played out in the public rather than behind closed doors like much violence. And because it did it provides the opportunity to remind everyone that each of us deserves to live a violence free life. If someone is hurting you you don't have to stay and put up with it. Whatever your denomination or beliefs - God does not condone a man hitting a woman or staying in an abusive relationship. If you believe that then contact me so we can talk
God loves you Rhianna and Chris! Now demonstrate that same love for yourself!
Blessed Be! Rev. Qiyamah
Fast Facts on Domestic Violence
Battering of women is the most under reported crime in America.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States; more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. "Violence Against Women, A Majority Staff Report," Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 102nd Congress, October 1992, p.3.
Three to four million women in the United States are beaten in their homes each year by their husbands, ex-husbands, or male lovers. "Women and Violence," Hearings before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, August 29 and December 11, 1990, Senate Hearing 101-939, pt. 1, p. 12.
One woman is beaten by her husband or partner every 15 seconds in the United States. Uniform Crime Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1991.
About 1 out of 4 women are likely to be abused by a partner in her lifetime. Sara Glazer, "Violence, Against Women" CO Researcher, Congressional Quarterly, Inc., Volume 3, Number 8, February, 1993, p. 171.
Approximately 95% of the victims of domestic violence are women. Statistics, National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, Ruth Peachey, M.D. 1988.
Police report that between 40% and 60% of the calls they receive, especially on the night shift, are domestic violence disputes. Carrillo, Roxann "Violence Against Women: An Obstacle to Development," Human Development Report, 1990.
Battering occurs among people of all races, ages, socio-economic classes, religious affiliations, occupations, and educational backgrounds.
Fifty percent of all homeless women and children in this country are fleeing domestic violence. Senator Joseph Biden, U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Violence Against Women: Victims of the System, 1991.
A battering incident is rarely an isolated event.
Battering tends to increase and become more violent over time.
Many batterers learned violent behavior growing up in an abusive family.
25% - 45% of all women who are battered are battered during pregnancy.
Domestic violence does not end immediately with separation. Over 70% of the women injured in domestic violence cases are injured after separation.
Domestic violence is not only physical and sexual violence but also psychological. Psychological violence means intense and repetitive degradation, creating isolation, and controlling the actions or behaviors of the spouse through intimidation or manipulation to the detriment of the individual. "Five Year State Master Plan for the Prevention of and Service for Domestic Violence." Utah State Department of Human Services, January 1994.