Even though Rihanna was abused by Chris Brown, she and Chris Brown have reunited professionally – and maybe personally – drumming up major drama in Hollywood. Some people are team forgive and forget, and some think that Rihanna’s reuniting with Chris Brown is a bad message to send.
The Bert Show community all have opinions one way or another, but then we got a call from Lisa, who’s currently in an abusive relationship. Like Jenn says, “Nobody who loves you, hits you.”
If you’re in an abusive relationship and need help getting out – nonprofit organization Jaden’s Ladder can help you break the cycle.
One listener heard the on-air discussion and has first hand experience dealing with domestic abuse:
“Bert Show –
Your topic on domestic violence had me very worked up. I tried hard to get through on your phone lines; however, by the time I was able to, it was almost 10am and y’all had moved on.
I have worked at the Cherokee Family Violence Center and emergency domestic violence shelter for almost 2 years now. Listening to the judgement about Rihanna going back to Chris Brown really irritated me. The judgement attached to women returning to violent relationships is the reason why women do not come forward about their dangerous relationships, causing them to be further isolated from the outside world and rely on her abuser.
One out of four women will be in a domestically violent relationship at some point in their lives. It is everywhere and pisses me off how people ignore it and act like it’s “none of my business,” such as people in the entertainment industry have done with Chris and Rihanna.
It takes a woman an average of 7 times to successfully leave an abusive relationship. That abuse could be physical, emotional/verbal and/or sexual. And physical abuse could be anything from a shove to slamming someone’s face into a dashboard & window of a car or worse.
I am a huge supporter of agencies and foundations that spread the word about domestic violence; however, telling a woman you will no longer help her if she returns to her abuser can be extremely damaging and dangerous. (I say her because women are more likely to be abused and men are more likely to be abusers, but of course that is not always the case!).
As stated before, it takes an average of 7 times to leave an abuser. Never ask a woman WHY she doesnt leave or WHY it took her so long to leave. Educate yourself instead of pointing blame on the victim. Who has not been in a bad relationship before? We’ve all been with someone who was not good for us, but every relationship starts out good, which is why two people decide get into a relationship with each other….. they seem great and perfect at first.
Victims love their abusers. They have a life with them. Abusers do not start out a relationship being abusive. In a lot of cases, victims’ abusers is all they have. They have been manipulated and isolated from friends, family, and reality. They do no see any other option but to stay. Eventually, the manipulation causes victims to believe they dont deserve better and couldnt even get better.
But the MOST IMPORTANT PIECE of abusive relationships is: the level of danger escalates once a woman tries to leave. In most cases where a man has killed his partner is during the time period in which she is trying to leave him. Victims know their abusers better than anyone and if they are fearful of leaving, they are scared for a very important reason. Their life is on the line, which makes seeing a way out extremely difficult.
What can we do to help??
BE THERE. The worst thing you could do for a person in such relationships is to abandoned them.
TALK WITH THEM. Stay in the loop about what is going on with their relationship.
BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR WORRIES. There are several red flags that a relationship could turn abusive. Someone who is CONTROLLING and JEALOUS is someone who is dangerous.. not someone who is ” cute because they care so much about you.”
EDUCATE YOURSELF so you can help EDUCATE THEM. Victims cannot see how bad it really is and sometimes think this abuse is NORMAL because maybe they grew up in abusive homes.
Obviously I could go on all day about this. One caller who stated she is being abused and “it’s like an addiction.” She feels that way because she’s in it, but what that statement really means is: “I am being manipulated and I cannot see past his lies.” Women hold on to the idea that these men will change because they werent always abusive. Maybe he will go back to how he used to be.
And one last thing is for Kristin. When you were sharing your story about being “accidentally” pushed and hit, I dont really know where to start. I could go on forever about how that act was no accident, but what I really wanted to point out was that you stated, “my situation was no where near as bad as… so-and-so’s.” We cannot compare different abuse situations to each other. They are ALL unique. Abuse is abuse, and Kristin, you were just lucky enough to realize that what he did to you was not right. Not every one has that ability and/or support that tells them that’s not right.
Do not ask why.
Do not judge.
Do not isolate/abandon someone in a bad relationship.
Do not compare your situation or someone else’s situation to others. Every type of abuse escalates. Some are worse than others because it’s been going on longer or just have escalated quicker.
Im sorry for such a lengthy email. I am extremely passionate about this subject and willing to help in any way. Rihanna will figure it out as long as she has support. As fans of hers, we dont have to agree with her decisions, but we should support her so she knows she deserves better.
Cherokee Family Violence Center”