In the News
Rihanna and the Face of Domestic Violence
Leaked photo of Rihanna shows her bruised and battered face
-April Daniels Hussar
TMZ’s photo of Rihanna, just after her “alleged” beating by Chris Brown, breaks my heart. I’m not old enough to be Rihanna’s mother, but I do have my own little girl, and I can’t help but relate to it as a mommy. She looks so sad — was my first thought, before even taking in her painful-looking abrasions, her bruises and swelling. Sad, vulnerable, and hurting – every mother’s worst nightmare for her daughter.
Next of course, comes anger – how could someone do this?! And yet, someone did. And yet, someone does – this and worse – all the time, every day.
The day Chris Brown released his public apology, BettyConfidential.com polled our readers about what they thought. Only one person thought Rihanna should accept his apology. The majority (55 percent) felt she “should prosecute him to the full extent of the law and his career should be over.” The rest (44 percent) agreed she should not accept the apology “but if he reforms, the public should forgive and forget.”
That really is the question, isn’t it? What happens next?
Right now Rihanna’s laying low, back home with her family in Barbados, her 21st birthday overshadowed by the drama. Her face, of course, will heal much faster than her heart or her spirit. I wonder what’s she’s feeling … anger? Embarrassment? Heartache … maybe she misses him. Us Weekly is reporting she feels “torn” over helping the police build their case. As so many battered women would attest, it can take more that an episode of violence – even brutal violence – to make love disappear.
And, so far we don’t have definitive word about what charges, if any, will be brought against Chris Brown – himself so young (another mother’s heartache). There are rumors that he’s facing a felony charge of attempted murder; for sure it looks like his promising career is over.
It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and cast judgment – not just on Chris Brown, but on Rihanna. She “should” speak out, she “should” press charges … It can’t be easy to be so famous, and to suddenly have your American Dream story take a nightmarish turn, to suddenly represent all the world’s battered women.
Can Chris Brown “reform?” Can he ever be sorry enough? Is redemption possible? There are no easy answers. One woman can’t represent all women. The only thing I do know … if she were my daughter, I’d want to hunt him down and break his neck.