Too Soon For Rihanna To Be An Advocate for Domestic Violence

There is much discussion about the altercation between singers Chris Brown and Rihanna on the eve of the Grammy’s. The media is full of stories of what went wrong and how it will affect their careers financially. Of course the pundits speak as if the only two people who will be affected by any loss in income are the singers but we all know that is not true. They work in an industry which practices their own version of a pyramid scheme and frankly, Chris and Rihanna are closer to the bottom than the top.

I am not worried about their finances because they are also in an industry that relishes a good comeback and for two great talents they will. My concern lies in the news reports that Rihanna will be making a statement on behalf of domestic violence and women around the world. There were two victims here, both Chris and Rihanna and neither should be allowed to speak for anyone else until they have sorted themselves out emotionally.

I remember leaving my abusive marriage and declaring I was now going to speak out against this issue and went straight into advocacy mode. Not realising that it was important for me to take a long breath and say “ouch, this hurts.” Women put on a brave face and just keep going, especially when there are bills to pay and kids to feed. Such was my case at the time, while also about to give birth to my fourth. Being hit by a man you care about whether verbally or physically is a blow to the soul and it needs to be healed. It doesn’t heal overnight or by just walking away. It heals when you can look at the reasons that lead you to the relationship in the first place.

Our spirits only draw to us the things we believe about ourselves and so for Rihanna to take on the role as victim, says the blame is all on Chris. It takes two people to have an abusive relationship. We all applaud her for calling the cops and getting out of the relationship but it is important that she, as well as any one who has ever been abused, look at the contributions she made to bringing it to that point. No one likes to think they could have caused someone else to abuse them but what signs did she overlook and brush off?  Choosing to stay around someone who verbally abuses you, shows issues with anger management or a tendency to intimidate, manipulate and control is the same as saying “Yes, it’s okay for you to take it further and hit me.”

Chris Brown has spoken of being raised in an abusive home and I am sure he thought that life was behind him when his music began to climb the charts and the bank account was green but abuse hurts you inside most of all and it can’t be hidden forever with flashy clothes or flashy moves. He was hurting and when we hurt, our first reaction is to look for someone we perceive to be weaker than us to hurt back. 

This is a time that both artists, need to go back to Ground Zero and reassess where they are in their own lives. Not just how this will affect their next tour, endorsements or record deals but how can they find healing for the areas in their hearts that still bear scars from childhood pain. I pray that they do, or they will both have to revisit this location again in the future until it is resolved. God is compassionate like that, He keeps giving us numerous opportunities to grow and move beyond the pain in our lives.

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