Four years after Chris Brown assaulted Rihanna the couple made a very public appearance together at the Grammys 2013 sitting next to one another showing PDA (public display of affection). One thing we can’t quite wrap our finger around is why Rihanna is back in a relationship with Chris Brown? Furthermore, why do women (and sometimes men) stay in domestic violence relationships? Why do they sometimes go back?
The focus of domestic violence tends to be more on women since it occurs more to them. According to Shocking Domestic Violence Statistics from Laws.com, nearly 1.3 million women and about 835,000 men are assaulted by their partner every year in the United States. According to L.Y. Marlow, the founder of Saving Promise, a national domestic violence awareness organization, there are a couple reasons as to why young women stay in and return to domestic violence relationships. First, the victim believes they are in love with the abuser and vice versa. Second, the domestic violence victim believes they can change or help the abuser.
Michael Down, Director of the Battered Women’s Justice Center at Pace University School of Law believes that even asking this question, “why do women stay in domestic violence relationships”, implies the victim has the ability to control the violence. “Victims cannot control this violence; the ones responsible are the abusers,” states Michael.
On the surface it seemed as if Rihanna had the ability to get out and stay out of her relationship with Chris Brown. She went on 20/20 and told Diane Sawyer that she wanted to go back to Chris and did initially. But then she realized that she could not go back to Chris because she knew that she is a role model to young girls. We are not sure what changed her mind from then to now. Perhaps she is being manipulated by Brown in a way we cannot see and she is not sharing. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine Rihanna declared: “even if it’s a mistake, it’s my mistake. I’d rather just live my truth and take the backlash.”
What do you think is going on? Do you think Rihanna should have or could have just left Chris Brown forever? Let us know what you think in the comments below. If you are in a domestic violence relationship or know someone who is, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE(7233). You can learn more about this hotline at domestic-violence.laws.com, or you can visit thehotline.org.