An Open Letter to Rihanna.

Dear Rihanna,

I've been following the stories about Chris Brown assaulting you for the past several weeks. I was sad for you when I first heard, but hoped somehow it was just an argument that got a little out of hand.

Then the photo came out of you the night of the attack. I honestly thought I might vomit when I saw it. It was obvious that what you experienced that night was no lovers' quarrel. You were beaten in a way that no one should EVER be beaten.

Then came the news that you were back together with Chris Brown and hanging out in Miami together. My heart sunk. How could you send this message to all of the young people who admire you and follow your life? It is NOT okay for you to go back to your abuser. You don't even have the excuse that you have nowhere else to go, or that you can't make it on your own. You are beautiful, successful, independent woman. Yet you chose to go back to the man who beat you, and in doing so told every little girl in the world that if your boyfriend hits you, you forgive him if you love him.

Then today, TMZ released the full Search Warrant and Affidavit. As I read it I realized that a piece of me was still hoping there was more to the story than we knew--that somehow it wasn't really as bad as that picture looked. Instead, what happened that night is much worse than I could have imagined.

Rihanna, you are a victim of domestic violence. You have experienced what way too many millions of women experience and don't know how to escape. Being assaulted the way you were is NEVER forgiveable. Ever. And it WILL happen again. And again. And again. Until you decide that you will not allow it to happen again.

Please do not turn a blind eye to the monster you've decided you love. I'm sure he came crawling back with apologies and gifts and promises to never do that again. I'm sure you want to give him another chance. But you can't. You chose a career that has turned you into a role model, and you OWE IT to your fans to NOT be with your abuser. Otherwise, young men will see that if they lose their tempers and put a beat down on their girlfriends that they'll be forgiven--and given a chance to do it again. Young women will see that boyfriends get angry sometimes and even though they might hit you, as long as they apologize and say they love you, the deserve another chance--to do it again. These are not the lessons you should be teaching.

I wish I knew you. I'd be on my knees begging you to do the right thing here: press charges, make a public statement about how domestic violence is NEVER okay, and begin a mission to assure other women never have to experience what you did that night.

Please, please, please, please, please seek counseling and advice from professionals who know about this sort of thing, and please listen to what they say.



Kim said...

I felt sick when I heard this, too. Mainly because of what you say-- so many little girls, teenagers, and women for that matter, are watching. Sometimes, when I see stories on the news of women returning to men like this, and I hear the details, I feel for them, because they DON'T have money, job skills, other family. I can see how hard it would seem to be able to leave with no real security. Rihanna has all this and more.
And like it or not, all of these celebrities, sports figures, actors and actresses are role models, and I wish like hell that more of them would realize that and do some good things with all that face time.
But what Rihanna is doing is far scarier. This isn't just going out and being a foolish young woman, or forgetting to wear her panties. She is risking her life, and teaching other young girls that this is what love means.

Lucky Mom said...

Actually, I feel very bad for her. I can't imagine feeling so worthless that someone could beat me up and I would forgive them. It makes me feel even worse for her because she has money and fame and presumably friends who are telling her that she is better than this and yet...she still is doing it.

HomeSlice said...

i know someone who kept going back. who kept listening to the words, not the actions. she ended up being beaten until he thought she was dead. three days later, she did die. i just don't believe that men like that can "change". not without a lot of help and counseling. it's hard for me to judge her since i've never been a victim of this, but i just don't get it. i really don't.