Saturday, February 21, 2009

Rihanna Should Consider Being a Spokeswoman For Domestic Violence!

The article below is from an interview I gave on Rihanna and the release of the photo showing injuries she sustained from the beating she received at the hands of singer Chris Brown. In my opinion, the singer should go to every high school across the country and speak to young women regarding domestic violence. If it can happen to Rihanna, it can happen to anyone in an abusive relationship.

By ANTHONY McCARTNEY AP Entertainment Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) - As police probe whether one of their own leaked a picture of a bruised and beaten woman that appears to be Rihanna, the image is sparking a discussion of the impact it could have on the issue of domestic violence. The celebrity Web site TMZ, which posted the photo Thursday night, did not explain its origin. The site wrote only that it was taken after an altercation between platinum-selling singer and her boyfriend, fellow pop star Chris Brown.
Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton acknowledged Friday afternoon that the photo could prove embarrassing to the woman pictured, a view shared by some advocates for abused women. But in the welts and marks on the face of the woman in the photo, some also saw a teaching moment.

"If it could happen to Rihanna, it could happen to anyone," said Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women. There are an estimated 4.8 million domestic violence attacks on women and another 2.9 million attacks on men each year, according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

"Maybe it is a good idea if it's her, if young girls see this," said Susan Murphy-Milano, a Chicago author and advocate for battered women. She said she hopes it makes them think, "Is the next picture going to be of her in a morgue?"

Both women expected the image, which even Bratton wouldn't go so far as to confirm was Rihanna, could spark a new awareness about domestic violence.
"The reality that domestic violence can happen to anyone, even someone with fame and celebrity, ought to bring home the point that this is a problem for our entire society," Gandy said. "We can't avoid or ignore it."

Bratton told reporters that along with launching an internal investigation into whether the photo is police evidence, he is also looking into how TMZ obtained the picture. He said the department may pursue a felony conspiracy case against TMZ and whomever might have helped them get the image.

Bratton said he suspected someone within the department leaked the photo, but did not elaborate or go so far as to confirm that it came from police evidence files.
"We are not treating this lightly," Bratton said. "It's an embarrassment to this department if in fact evidence was leaked.

"It's going to be a very painful experience for any personnel from this department and possibly those who they may have engaged in a conspiracy with to violate the laws of California."
TMZ did not say how it obtained the image and a publicist for the site did not return a phone or e-mail message seeking comment Friday.
Brown, 19, was arrested Feb. 8 on suspicion of making felony criminal threats, but police have not publicly identified his alleged victim. The woman was Rihanna, according to a person familiar with the situation, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and requested anonymity.

A spokesman for Brown said the singer had no further comment beyond a statement released Sunday in which he said he was "sorry and saddened" about the incident. His attorney has not returned calls seeking comment.

Rihanna broke her silence on Friday, her 21st birthday, by releasing a statement through Rubenstein Associates.
"At the request of the authorities, Rihanna is not commenting about the incident involving Chris Brown," the statement read. "She wants to assure her fans that she remains strong, is doing well, and deeply appreciates the outpouring of support she has received during this difficult time."

The singer canceled a planned birthday bash in New York and postponed concerts overseas in the days following the incident.

Prosecutors are still waiting for police to present more evidence against Brown. Bratton said Friday that detectives are working quickly to finish that investigation, and the inquiries into the leak.

Both Gandy and Murphy-Milano said one of the reasons the photo's release is so shocking is because domestic violence isn't in the spotlight except for when it involves high-profile couples.
"Such a graphic image may give people pause and make them think about what we're doing for the women who don't have resources to escape and take care of themselves," Gandy said. She said the country's economic problems will translate into more domestic violence cases as families suffer financial strain.

And from a painful image, Murphy-Milano hoped a new advocate for battered women might have been made.

"I think she could be a very important voice and a tool for other people," she said of Rihanna. "She could turn this around," Murphy-Milano said, and tell others, "'Don't be me.'"


Delilah said...

Rhianna has the opportunity to be a voice for those who no longer have a voice because she has survived an attack that many do not.

I hope that she has the strength and courage to speak up about this incident in a positive way that will help others become survivors.

To sweep this under the rug would be a disservice to herself.

Susan, your quotes for this article were spot on and I think it's important for the women of America and the world to view this picture. Domestic violence is real and this picture speaks more than a thousand words to those who only think this type of abuse happens to someone they don't know.

Brandon said...

Chris Brown is the one who needs to be the poster boy. A judge should require him to do 2 years of community service in jails and highschools aross the country twice a week,

Anonymous said...

To learn more about victims of domestic violence, you may wish to consult the following online resources:
California State Long Beach Professor Martin Fiebert's summary of over 200 studies found in online bibliography at:
Prof. Linda Kelly, 'Disabusing the Definition of Domestic Abuse,' 30 Florida State Law Review 791 (2003):
Prof. Don Dutton, 'Transforming a flawed policy: A call to revive psychology and science in domestic violence research and practice,' Aggression and Violent Behaviour, (11) 2006, 457-483:
Harvard Medical School:
University of New Hampshire:
Government of Canada Report:
Domestic abuse role reversal: According to surveys cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 835,000 men are sexually or physically assaulted by an intimate partner every year in the United States…
Lesbian Domestic Violence: About 17-45% of lesbians report having been the victim of a least one act of physical violence perpetrated by a lesbian partner.
Women Equally Instigate Domestic Violence: Statistics Canada 2005 and also 2006 reported that 7% of Canadian women (654,000) and 6% of Canadian men (646,000) reported being the victim of spousal violence at least once in the previous five years. See: Real Women of Canada Newsletter online at:
Violent Women Video: In our society it is alright for a woman to attack a man. It is never alright for a man to defend himself against an attacking woman. If it does not sit right with you that there is never an excuse for men to fight back against a woman, have a look at the video.
Every 21 seconds, somewhere in America a woman is raped or battered, and every 38 seconds, somewhere in America a man is battered or raped by his wife or intimate partner. An estimated 1.5 million women and 835,000 men are the victims of domestic violence each year.

Feminist Urban Legends:

Pearson, Patricia. When She Was Bad: Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence.
"Women commit the majority of child homicides in the United States; more than 80 percent of neonaticides; an equal or greater share of severe physical child abuse; an equal rate of spousal assault; about a quarter of child sexual molestations; and a large proportion of elder abuse... The rate at which infants are murdered by women in the U.S. is higher than the rate at which women are murdered by men." With carefully researched facts, fascinating case histories, and incisive argument, Patricia Pearson succeeds in demolishing the myth that women are not naturally violent.
See Amazon Reviews at:
Other books of interest: Kill the Body, the Head Will Fall: A Closer Look at Women, Violence, and Aggression , No Angels: Women Who Commit Violence , Casualties Of Community Disorder: Women's Careers In Violent Crime (Crime and Society Series) and Heartbreakers: Women and Violence in Contemporary Culture and Literature
Books of interest on anti-social behaviour and violence in girls: Challenging Violence: Girls, Gender and Violent Encounters , Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls , Sex, Power, & the Violent School Girl , Girls' Violence: Myths And Realities (Suny Series in Women, Crime, and Criminology) , Aggression, Antisocial Behavior, and Violence among Girls: A Developmental Perspective (The Duke Series in Child Development and Public Policy) , Social Aggression among Girls (The Guilford Series on Social and Emotional Development) and Girlfighting: Betrayal and Rejection among Girls

Victim NO MORE said...

Hearing of this plight on Feb.22, 2009 on the Mike on Crime show made me weep. I am grateful that Rhianna's issue has come forward; as this life destroying issue almost took my life. I would beg of her to stand tall, and be courageous as I too was a battered woman, and my case is still going through the courts.

Rhianna, I would ask if you could please be a spokes person for people like me whom the world ignores. Body, mind, and spirit are ravaged beyond recognition but by taking your life back it empowers others and creates healing within yourself. There are many that I speak with that need you Rihanna; desperately to be our voice.

Fear of everyone knowing is why I tried to hide it; do not fear millions know first hand what it is like to go through.

Be our voice. end the silence, you are not alone. My URL, shows you I truly do understand (shallyjean on youtube).

Still living today;
A battered woman needing Rihanna’s Voice

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