Rihanna and the Face of Domestic Violence

Leaked photo of Rihanna shows her bruised and battered face after Chris Brown attack

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Rihanna and the Face of Domestic Violence

Leaked photo of Rihanna shows her bruised and battered face

-April Daniels Hussar

a bruised rihanna

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.

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0 thoughts on “Rihanna and the Face of Domestic Violence

  1. Oh my god. I feel sick after seeing that picture. I thought I may have compassion for him, especially since he experienced abuse in his childhood, but now I want to hunt him down and wring his neck. This is awful.

  2. I’m all for forgiveness and the power of higher thinking — but that’s how I’d FEEL — as a mother, if that were my daughter. I’m not saying I’d ACT on those feelings … but that’s how I’d feel.

  3. yes, forgive and forget is a great sentiment, but I totally understood the author’s point–can you even imagine the intense rage you would feel if someone did this to your child? I think wanting to break his neck is very mild actually.

  4. No offense Rockaway, but I find it hard to believe that you would simply rollover if that were YOUR daughter. Forgiveness is a good thing, but I don’t agree with the “violence is violence.” If someone is getting bullied, I believe they have every right to defend themselves (hit back if they need to) — which some people just write off as “violence.” And, if my kid were being abused, I would certainly do something about it.

  5. Forgiveness shouldn’t even be part of this discussion. There is no excuse for a man to beat a woman and there’s not a single reason to forgive this behavior. Once an abuser, always an abuser.

    I spent six years working in law enforcement and saw plenty of men beat women, be “forgiven” and then end up killing or completely disfiguring the women.

    Chris needs to do some hard time and find out what it feels like to be abused. His crime is not looked on as “manly” in prison. The inmates make a point of helping women and child abusers see the error of their ways.

    He crossed the line, now he better be ready to play on that side.

  6. I certainly hope Rihanna follows threw with charges, her celeberty can bring this to the for front…AGAIN!!! Have we forgotten Nicole Brown-Simpson??? Domestic Violence and plain violence against women HAS TO STOP!!! I have been in a violent relationship, it DOESN’T get better!! Lets rally to support her and STOP exploiting her!

  7. Whether it is Rihanna’s picture or not, the families involved have admitted there was violence, right? The part that bothers me is that 100,000 teenage girls know it, too. If Brown gets away with it, her bruises are a powerful message to teens, that it is OK to dominate another with violence.

    I would not like to see anyone go to jail, but a weekend or two might convince America– not just Chris Brown– to just say NO to domestic abuse.I don’t think this is a career ender for Brown, but it is a loud and clear message to American teens.

  8. Honestly, aside from his childhood experiences, Chris Brown is in part of the music world that does not respect women.

    This is not nearly as sad as the story of Aasiya Z. Hassan, the woman who was beheaded by her Muslim husband in Buffalo, NY. Where is the outrage about that?

  9. KS– you are so absolutely right about the murder in Buffalo. I hope to God they had no children… It is also disturbing that he was a man who wanted to educate America about Islam. Some lesson!

  10. I understand forgiveness and it doesn’t mean ignore or forget…just let go.

    She deserves to heal putting her need before concern over “him” but love bends better judgement.

    I pray she does not excuse; No one ever deserves to be hit.

    wisdom manifests in bits and pieces, not always in one big upload.

    Maybe it’s easier to digest.

    Why are some drawn into harm like moths to fire?

    Some recognize “danger” and quickly adjust course, while others “don’t”.

    As beautiful and gifted she is, something inside is out of “alignment” and requires attention to correct course.

    I look in her face and remember my own.
    I remember my own mother’s pain when she looked at me.

    Always forgiving, putting myself last, wanting to heal another with my pathetic “broken” love…to finally, walk away wondering, “Why? Why? Why? I love him so.”

    Over time, a woman evolved, strengthened not embittered.

    I pray both will take lessons from this drama.

    Never forgetting; “hurt people will hurt people.”

  11. As a girl from the Caribbean, since Rihanna emerged as a young successful female artist on the US and international scene, she has been my role model. I look up to her for her beauty, for her individuality and how much she–to me–just deviated from the norm.

    After I heard about the Chris Brown incident, I felt so sad and angry that I didn’t want to discuss it with anyone.

    What finally got me talking about it was the insensitive comments I heard coming from alot of people. A question that gutted me the most was “I wonder what she did?” and statements like “Maybe she did something to provoke it–you don’t know, maybe she deserves it” just left me feeling so perturbed that words cannot describe.

    I agree with bluejeans, we need to support her, not exploit her–the picture from tmz was not even supposed to be released. If it were me or any other non celeb woman, my picture wouldn’t be in tonnes of news papers and tabloids and across the web–and if it were, can you imagine how heartbroken and devastated my family and I would be?

    TMZ should have never released the photo.

    I loved this post so much. It really echoes alot of my feelings on the whole situation–you have a beautiful site here!

    Thanks for posting.

  12. I was in an abusive marriage for 30 years and I hope she helps the law enforcement stop him. It took me years to get strong enough to leave and I know for a fact that it only gets worse. My ex still thinks he was innocent. When I asked him why he broke my arm, he told me it was my fault because I put my arm behind me when he was kicking me. Get out while you can. Don’t condemn her if she doesn’t though. That is what helps keep them where they are. They need loving help and not condemnation. I wish her the best!

  13. Yes it is Rihanna. Check out the tatoo. E veryone shouts from the rooftops that domestic violence has to stop. There more to it than what’s just right and wrong, but she better get out of this relationship if she doesn’t want to lose her mind, self-respect, and soul.

  14. I feel so for Rihanna, as I was in a similar situation. I got out before my ex-husband actually hit me, and then it was his word against mine.He would fight,shove me, chase me from room to room to intimidate me, use rage to scare me, and tried to lock me up in our bedroom.When I got away after a long struggle, I was scared to death he would hunt me down and shoot me. The cops didn’t listen, the divorce judge didn’t listen, and when he made false claims to child protective services to get the children in retaliation for me leaving, the social workers didn’t listen. I had no bruises, blood, or broken bones to prove his abuse. It absolutely breaks my heart to see women stay until they are battered, and then go back. Thank you, Jesus for getting me out in time.

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