Many may remember a few years ago that singer Chris Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault in 2009 for the beating of his then girlfriend Rhianna. He played it down as a mistake and even called it self defense (even though he is 6’2′ and 180 plus pounds and Rhianna is 5’8″ and 120-130 pounds at the time of the assault). His recent Grammy performance and award win drew criticism as an inadvertent approval of spousal abuse. After doing some reading I discovered that I would like to add my voice to the disgust at Brown and the Grammy’s for not only inviting him but giving him an award. Even though the Grammy’s was right to remain indifferent of politics and artists’ personal lives that doesn’t make his acceptance by anyone any less disgusting. All you should really need to feel this way is read the police report which describes the attack:
A verbal argument ensued and Brown pulled the vehicle over on an unknown street, reached over Robyn F. with his right hand, opened the car door and attempted to force her out. Brown was unable to force Robyn F. out of the vehicle because she was wearing a seat belt. When he could not force her to exit, he took his right hand and shoved her head against he passenger window of the vehicle, causing an approximate one-inch raised circular contusion.
Robyn F. turned to face Brown and he punched her in the left eye with his right hand. He then drove away in the vehicle and continued to punch her in the face with his right hand while steering the vehicle with his left hand. The assault caused Robyn F.’s mouth to fill with blood and blood to splatter all over her clothing and the interior of the vehicle.
Brown looked at Robyn F. and stated, ‘I’m going to beat the sh– out of you when we get home! You wait and see!’
The detective said “Robyn F.” then used her cell phone to call her personal assistant Jennifer Rosales, who did not answer.
“Robyn F. pretended to talk to her and stated, ‘I’m on my way home. Make sure the police are there when I get there.’
After Robyn F. faked the call, Brown looked at her and stated, ‘You just did the stupidest thing ever! Now I’m really going to kill you!’
Brown resumed punching Robyn F. and she interlocked her fingers behind her head and brought her elbows forward to protect her face. She then bent over at the waist, placing her elbows and face near her lap in [an] attempt to protect her face and head from the barrage of punches being levied upon her by Brown.
Brown continued to punch Robyn F. on her left arm and hand, causing her to suffer a contusion on her left triceps (sic) that was approximately two inches in diameter and numerous contusions on her left hand.
“Robyn F. then attempted to send a text message to her other personal assistant, Melissa Ford. Brown snatched the cellular telephone out of her hand and threw it out of the window onto an unknown street.
Brown continued driving and Robyn F. observed his cellular telephone sitting in his lap. She picked up the cellular telephone with her left hand and before she could make a call he placed her in a head lock with his right hand and continued to drive the vehicle with his left hand.
Brown pulled Robyn F. close to him and bit her on her left ear. She was able to feel the vehicle swerving from right to left as Brown sped away. He stopped the vehicle in front of 333 North June Street and Robyn F. turned off the car, removed the key from the ignition and sat on it.
Brown did not know what she did with the key and began punching her in the face and arms. He then placed her in a head lock positioning the front of her throat between his bicep and forearm. Brown began applying pressure to Robyn F.’s left and right carotid arteries, causing her to be unable to breathe and she began to lose consciousness.
She reached up with her left hand and began attempting to gouge his eyes in an attempt to free herself. Brown bit her left ring and middle fingers and then released her. While Brown continued to punch her, she turned around and placed her back against the passenger door. She brought her knees to her chest, placed her feet against Brown’s body and began pushing him away. Brown continued to punch her on the legs and feet, causing several contusions.
Robyn F. began screaming for help and Brown exited the vehicle and walked away. A resident in the neighborhood heard Robyn F.’s plea for help and called 911, causing a police response. An investigation was conducted and Robyn F. was issued a Domestic Violence Emergency Protective Order.
Fox News’ Andy Levy said it right:
I would like to apologize to everyone for using Twitter to subtlety address the fact that I think it’s disgusting that a guy that put his girlfriend in the hospital can, a mere two years later, be warmly welcomed back in society and appear on shows such as Saturday Night Live as if everything he did magically never happened.
One of, if not the best, way to stop domestic violence is to make it socially unacceptable. So far Chris Brown’s successful post assault career shows that this is not the case if you are a celebrity singer. Perhaps these TV spots will remind everyone why Chris Brown should not have the fame and acceptance that he does:
Understanding domestic violence. As a humanist I believe this is another issue that deserves that kind of attention that religion and God now gets. Anyone with an ounce of courage and love has a duty to call the police and get a person help if you recognize it. (Borrowed from here):
General warning signs of domestic abuse
People who are being abused may:
- Seem afraid or anxious to please their partner.
- Go along with everything their partner says and does.
- Check in often with their partner to report where they are and what they’re doing.
- Receive frequent, harassing phone calls from their partner.
- Talk about their partner’s temper, jealousy, or possessiveness.
Warning signs of physical violence
People who are being physically abused may:
- Have frequent injuries, with the excuse of “accidents.”
- Frequently miss work, school, or social occasions, without explanation.
- Dress in clothing designed to hide bruises or scars (e.g. wearing long sleeves in the summer or sunglasses indoors).
Warning signs of isolation
People who are being isolated by their abuser may:
- Be restricted from seeing family and friends.
- Rarely go out in public without their partner.
- Have limited access to money, credit cards, or the car.
The psychological warning signs of abuse
People who are being abused may:
- Have very low self-esteem, even if they used to be confident.
- Show major personality changes (e.g. an outgoing person becomes withdrawn).
- Be depressed, anxious, or suicidal.
If you suspect that someone you know is being abused, speak up! If you’re hesitating—telling yourself that it’s none of your business, you might be wrong, or the person might not want to talk about it—keep in mind that expressing your concern will let the person know that you care and may even save his or her life.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Ask if something is wrong.
- Express concern.
- Listen and validate.
- Offer help.
- Support his or her decisions.
- Wait for him or her to come to you.
- Judge or blame.
- Pressure him or her.
- Give advice.
- Place conditions on your support.
Adapted from: NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence
Help for victims of Domestic Violence
In the US: call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).
UK: call Women’s Aid at 0808 2000 247.
Canada: call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-363-9010.
Australia: call 1800RESPECT at 1800 737 732.
Worldwide: visit International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies for a global list of helplines, shelters, and crisis centers.
For a safe place to stay:
In the US: visit Womenslaw.org for a state-by-state directory of domestic violence shelters in the U.S.
In Canada: Go to shelternet.ca or call thee National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224.