I wrote about Rihanna’s assault a few weeks back and now it seems she’s decided to get back together with Brown.  This is something I’ve been worried about, because I knew the judgments against her would fly, and it would make me sick.  I, in no way, will defend Brown’s actions.  Nor will I assert whether he can or cannot change.  The issue for me is how people are projecting their expectations and judgments on her.  And why?  I honestly cannot understand what she owes any of us.  Do we think if she stays away from Brown it will send the “right” message?  And if she gets back together with her it will be the opposite?  Who will these potential messages reach?  Why is it her responsibility?

Dumping on a young woman who was assaulted for making her own choices is low, period.


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  1. Tara Incognita Says:

    People are assholes. (I know I said this on Jezebel, too, but I am tired and mad at people, and it is true.)

  2. Claudia (Bluebears) Says:

    Not to mention all the people appalled that her family is releasing statements supporting her. One of the way that abusers “win” is that an abuse victims family and friends gradually pull away from them and then they really are isolated. If someone you care about is in an abusive relationship the best thing you can do is tell them, I’m going to be there for you no matter what decision you make.

  3. CurlyTop Says:

    Penny, I have to respectfully disagree with you on this. That is your opinion, and this is mine..

    As a woman who has been in an abusive relationship, I understood the likely dynamics of this situation.. the honeymoon/hell rollercoaster, the ‘baby I love you so much, it makes me do crazy things’ BS she’s probably being fed, she probably DOES feel protected by him in a sense.. etc etc.. I felt it was all too likely she would not break it off. But I’m so, so saddened that this perfect opportunity for young girls (and boys) to be taught to never accept that sort of treatment and that it’s never acceptable to treat another that way.
    I’m sad for Rihanna too, as much as I’m angry with her. It’s her life to muck up as she pleases, but I’m 100% sure she’s in for a world of heartbreak yet to come.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a trial if he is found innocent. Why? Well, because Rihanna will probably show up in court to support him and the jury will see that she forgives him and they should find him not guilty.

    After the trial he will be outside smiling and will probably party and say how he never did anything wrong and it was all a misunderstanding. As far as I’m concerned I’m done with the both of them. Rihanna could have done so much good for so many and instead she blew it. Even Chris Brown could have done some good for domestic violence situations, but it is all thrown out the window now.

    Have you heard the insipid comments spewed by Kanye West? That’s something to blog/rant about.

    Anyway, I’m done with this story. Good luck to both of them.

  4. Melissa (Athertonmerriweather) Says:

    From the comments on that post, alot of Jezebel’s commenters seem to be in Rihanna and Chris Browns inner circle. They know how many times this has happened, exactly what her parents are doing about it, her record label, etc…I don’t in any way think what Chris Brown did is okay, but I’m not going to pretend like I have any idea what happened between two people I don’t know and start commenting on their situation.

  5. pennyplastic Says:

    CurlyTop, thank you for sharing your experience, this is just the kind of thoughtful insight I wish I saw more of on Jezebel, where I expect a lot from the community. Yes, it is my opinion, and I have been having a very hard time articulating it. I do respect other opinions, but some are so blatantly judgmental I can’t get past it.

    I wish the best to both of them as well…..

  6. pennyplastic Says:

    Melissa, yeah…..and I realize that my opinion is not popular with some. And that’s fine. I am wishing I didn’t add it to the blog, as it’s not my intention to be provocative. But I was SO MAD this morning I could hardly see straight.

  7. TheEternalOptimist Says:

    I was in an abusive relationship for 13 years. I spent the last 2 with him still hoping that he would change, and not wanting to give up on marriage. I realized after broken bones that he was never going to change, and I finally decided to leave him. My friends, my real ones anyway, stood by me and helped me when needed, but basically let me come to my own conclusions. They were “supportive sounding boards”. Listening but giving opinions only when asked.

    When a person is being abused physically, it’s almost guaranteed that they are being abused mentally too. She probably still loves him, and is having a hard time dealing with it. It’s so much easier to go back to the familiar than to change.

    She’ll figure it out in her own time. We should not judge her actions. She’s grown, and allowed to make her own choices, right or wrong. It’s just sad that it’s out there for all the world to see, and she’ll never be able to put that behind her.

  8. Britni Says:

    I work as a therapist in a domestic violence center/shelter. You hear this over and over again. The average woman will leave her batterer 7 times before she leaves for good. And, actually, she is in more danger when she leaves him. That is when lethality is the highest, because the batterer feels his control is slipping. We have participants that come to our center, only to leave our services after a few weeks or months because they have returned to their abuser. And then, a year later, they return to try again. It is not an easy process, and DV is about power and control. The batterer has the power and control over the victim, and he knows how to manipulate her in order to maintain that power and control.

    We cannot judge Rhianna. The only thing that can be done is to offer her support, resources, and education, and let her know that you (not us, exactly, but the people in her life) are there when she is ready to leave. But it is ultimately her decision. And she will not leave until she is really, truly ready to.

    While I’m sad for her, I’m even more sad that this issue has been made so public, and people that do not understand anything about the dynamics of an abusive relationship will judge her for actions that many, many women have taken before her.

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