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March 2, 2009

Rihanna and Chris Brown patching things up?

On Grammy night, the news was released that Rihanna and Chris Brown, both scheduled to perform, would be cancelling their performances due to a “personal incident;” that “personal incident, as we now know, turned out to be a domestic violence incident, in which Chris Brown has been accused of beating up Rihanna, his girlfriend. It was all rumour and speculation until the official incident photos were somehow leaked onto the internet; the whole world saw Rihanna’s bruised face, swollen forehead and bloody lip. We were all stunned by this turn of events, and saddened for Rihanna; what a terrible turn of events.

The next piece of outrageous news is that “anonymous friends” of Rihanna’s are now stating that this is not the first time, during their relationship, that Chris has put his hands on Rihanna. Supposedly, some costume pieces for her shows have been designed to cover bruises, but these so-called friends didn’t take it seriously at the time; nice friends. With this piece of information revealed (if true), it became clearer that Rihanna was caught in a cycle of abuse with Chris Brown.

Wait, did I saw “was”? I mean “is.” News broke this morning that Chris Brown and Rihanna are spending some time together at Diddy’s house in Miami. It appears that Rihanna and Chris are trying to patch up their relationship by spending a little quality time together. Rihanna’s father has even given the following statement: “I love my daughter with whatever road she takes. I’m behind her win or lose. I will be supportive. If that’s the road she wants to choose, I’m behind her.” Being supportive of your child is one thing; supporting your child’s desire to remain involved with their abuser is something else: bad parenting. Ok, so technically as a 21-year-old she’s an adult and can make her own choices, but how can a parent see this and not be outraged? (I can guarantee you, beyond a doubt, that if dear BF laid his hands on my in this fashion, he’d be running for his life from my father.)

Women everyone, myself included, have been disappointed by Rihanna’s apparent decision to reconcile with Chris, considering everything he has (allegedly) done to her. Domestic violence is a serious issue, and Rihanna had the opportunity to use her celebrity, her position in the public eye, to make a statement about a woman’s rights to be in a healthy relationship; instead, it seems she has chosen to take him back. Rather than becoming a poster girl for strong survivors everywhere, she has become the opposite; another victim unable to break away from the cycle of violence. The spotlight is on her, as a celebrity, and it seems she has made the same choice.

We all know the statistics: the man who hits you, even once, will almost certainly hit you again. Any woman, celebrity or not, who is caught in this situation needs to get out before it happens again. I can’t say what is going through Rihanna’s mind right now, but I know what is going through my own: her father, or someone, needs to get her out of this situation before it escalates even further. People are already referring to them as this generations Ike & Tina Turner; I’d hate to see such a prediction come true. As for Chris Brown, I doubt he’ll be severely punished as he deserves; no famous person ever is. I’m sure wifebeaters everywhere are drinking to him right now, celebrating his ability to keep his woman after putting his hands on her. Cheers!

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