Last October, in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I wrote a post titled, “Love Shouldn’t Hurt”, which included a story of my friend, “Tricia”. Tricia was in a seemingly health relationship, until one day, out of the blue, her boyfriend hit her in the face.
In light of the recent Chris Brown & Rihanna incident, I spoke to Tricia the other day, and asked her if she knew whether or not her ex-boyfriend witnessed his mother being in an abusive relationship when he was a kid. As I previously assumed, he had.
Statistics have shown that boys who witness their fathers’ violence are 10 times more likely to engage in spousal abuse later on in life. (Family Violence Interventions for the Justice System, 1993). Unfortunately, this statistic seems to ring true for both my friend’s ex & Chris Brown, both of who witnessed their mothers being abused at the hands of their step-fathers as children.
To ad nauseum the internet and major news outlets are all speculating about the incident. Gossip sites are basically having a field day with what could have caused Chris Brown to snap and physically batter Rihanna. What is even more disappointing is reading the commentary that follows a lot of these posts sites have made. It amazes me that so many people find his behaviour acceptable, depending on what Rihanna did to provoke it.
Provocation or not, I truly find it appalling that people can actually find reasons to justify his actions. Even in reading my young cousin’s Myspace page, she wrote “Poor Chris Brown”. I was dumbfounded.
Poor adult Chris Brown? Not hardly.
Poor young child Chris Brown who witnessed the abuse of his mother, sure.
As his mother was getting physically battered by her husband, Chris Brown was being mentally battered. He even admitted his issues he had growing up last year in Giant Magazine. Also, not to be left out, Rihanna admitted that her life wasn’t a crystal stair either in another Giant Magazine interview.
What I find even more interesting is that both Chris & Rihanna grew up in households with both parents, which goes back to many of the comments that were made on my post, “Where Have All The Black Fathers Gone?”, that stated even when there are two parents in a household, dysfunction can still exist.
Could this incident have been prevented?
I actually think it could have. Instead of throwing a young kid into karate lessons, to teach them how to defend themselves with more violence, I feel that maybe Chris Brown, like so many other children who witnessed their parents being abused, were done a disservice by not putting them in therapy/counseling.
So many people, especially African-Americans, feel that there is a negative stigma tied to therapy, but sometimes this is the only thing to heal a ‘battered mind & body’. Hopefully after all of the gossip, drama & legal proceedings past, both Chris Brown & Rihanna, will get the help they both seem to need to deal with a childhood that a child should never be subjected to.
If you know of anyone who is being abused, pass on this number to them or make the call yourself:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline answers more than 19,500 calls per month from victims, survivors, friends and family members, law enforcement personnel, domestic violence advocates and the general public. Hotline advocates provide support and assistance to anyone involved in a domestic violence situation, including those in same-sex relationships, male survivors, those with disabilities and immigrant victims of domestic violence. All calls to the National Domestic Violence Hotline are anonymous and confidentia