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"Oh, man, I can’t believe he hit Rihanna!”

This is what my daughter said to me this morning as we were getting ready for school. I listened to her talk about how low it was for Chris Brown to do this and how no one should ever hit Rihanna, and then I calmly turned toward her, and I said, “No man should ever hit a woman.”

Then my son said, “Man is my friend going to be upset. She just loves Chris Brown; this is going to blow her mind. What a creep!”

At first, I was a little irked. The fact that it was a celebrity situation that was making my son and my daughter think about domestic abuse for the first time in a long while was annoying. During the few times we have had to discuss my situation and their father’s violent issues, they’ve flinched. But this morning they are both talking openly about how appalling it is for this celebrity man to hit this celebrity woman.

But when I thought about it further, I realized that it is often the celebrities that bring important issues back up to the forefront of the public’s eye. If it takes Chris Brown hitting Rihanna to make us take a closer look at the horror and consequential damage that domestic abuse has on the adults and the children involved, then I’m all for it. But it is sad to think that my own children find this behavior disgusting and completely unacceptable for a celebrity couple, but don’t want to deal with the fact that their father hit their mother.

I’m expecting too much from them, I know. They are only 12 and 13, and they do love their father, and, despite what he did to me, I want them to have a relationship with him, if it doesn’t involve his fist in or anywhere near or around their sweet little faces.

Am I crazy for allowing them to go visit him? Do men who batter their wives batter their children if the wife, who is now the ex, isn’t around? You tell me.

And should we feel badly for Rihanna but be thankful that the taboo topic of domestic abuse will be in the limelight once again. I think of Mindy Macready and Whitney Houston and how their situations sparked wide public interest into their abusive relationships with their partners and domestic abuse as a whole. But were we viewing this for our own voyeuristic pleasure, or did we really care?

I know that I care, not about one celebrity couple’s abuse issues, but about all women and men who have been violently abused by their partners. If you know of someone or if you are a victim of abuse, there is national hotline you can call to receive help. That number is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit their web site. Don’t let us wait for celebrities to remind us and prompt us to take action against this wretched and devastating form of abuse.

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  • Comment Link Guest Saturday, 04 April 2009 01:19 posted by Guest

    Say what?: Herbies?? Wow!!!!!!!

  • Comment Link Guest Saturday, 28 February 2009 09:15 posted by Guest


  • Comment Link Guest Tuesday, 24 February 2009 17:51 posted by Guest

    this 'teri stoddard' comments: this 'teri stoddard' comments on your blog that she/he obtained 'news' from RADAR that she was the 'first to strike'

    I have to chuckle that they provide a gossip tabloid news as proof

    First, if you are really a man and your woman raises her hand you walk away and ditch the relationship you dont hit back

    same goes for the woman

    also it is very very interesting that comments are 'closed' on this teri stoddard's page, I wonder why? can dish but cant take?

    my parents were in an abusive relationship, first time a man raised his hand to me the relationship ended IMMEDIATELY, no second chances, abusers only get worse with time

    I was a single parent too but I did not care. yes we struggled but the world did not come to an end because I left and things were hard for us for a while.

    a couple of years ago a good friend of mine went through the same ordeal, she has two children, I talked her into leaving that poor excuse, she is now a successful business woman and her kids are doing just fine

    nothing is worth abuse and pain or worse DEATH. hold your head high and walk away, you will all be better for it.

  • Comment Link Guest Tuesday, 24 February 2009 16:26 posted by Guest

    And, one more thing..: ..I cannot help but let my personal life and experiences affect my blogging. It is who I am, but I agree that the specific details are important in this case. Wanda Woodard

  • Comment Link Guest Tuesday, 24 February 2009 16:09 posted by Guest

    re: Yes, I know that females abuse males, but...: ...this blog was written the morning of the event, and this blog was not a journalist's report. It was what happened in my household with my children the morning this event was first made public. My point is that violence of any kind is unacceptable, but when it happens to celebrities, suddenly, we take notice.

    Any woman, any man, under any roof on this planet has the right to not have another person get in their space and inflict harm.

    I will visit your website, and thank you for your input. Note has been taken. :)
    Wanda Woodard

  • Comment Link Guest Monday, 16 February 2009 16:30 posted by Guest

    men and women BOTH abuse - rihanna hit first!: Rihanna was the first one to strike. She slapped him while he was driving. WHY HAVE YOU, ALONG WITH MOST MEDIA OUTLETS, IGNORED THIS FACT?

    Marc Angellucci, esq. has communicated with you about female abuse on males. He has sued a Sacramento emergency abuse shelter for refusing to help fathers and their children. THEY WON. (Oct 2008, woods case) They have PROVEN that women abuse as often as men do, and that they inflict great harm to their male partners.

    Please don't allow your history to influence your writing. Please be impartial when reporting this and other cases. If we aren't honest, more children will be harmed by false allegations. Women who abuse often tell the police that they were the victims.

    In MOST cases involving young people, the female strikes first. In MOST cases, as in this case, the retaliatory strike causes more damage than the first strike (no matter the gender.) We teach boys not to hit back. Who will teach girls not to strike in the first place?

  • Comment Link Guest Thursday, 12 February 2009 21:25 posted by Guest

    Hard.....: This is hard for me to bear.I was Chris Brown's biggest fan. I rememeber I used to tell my male friends Chris Brown is a better man than you but I was wrong because they all say they dont hit girls. No matter how many times we hit them. THEY NEVER HIT US!!This hit me hard.I always used to say I hated Rihanna for being with Chris...But now that their over. I feel that it feels so sad. They say she just to beat him and one day she pressed the wrong button and got messed up.I kind of feel bad because I know how sometime you can let your anger get the best of you and regret the things you did. But also feel bad for Rihanna because NO women,no matter how much I dislike them. But I have let my anger get the best of me and so have some of you.I think Chris Brown learned his lesson. You have to be punished for your mistakes to learn. At leat a little bit or at least enough to NEVER EVER EVER........... do THAT again.

  • Comment Link Wanda Wednesday, 11 February 2009 10:59 posted by Wanda

    It Has To Stop After the first time: And the only way to do that is to end the relationship. I agree completely.

  • Comment Link Wanda Wednesday, 11 February 2009 10:58 posted by Wanda

    I'm Battling With This...: ..But I agree with you. I have insurance, so I need to use it and set up some family counseling. My son's birthday is Thursday, so I'll do this for next week. You're right, and thank you for reminding me of the resources that are avaiable to me. I need to take advantage of them. - Wanda W

  • Comment Link Guest Wednesday, 11 February 2009 06:49 posted by Guest

    WHY? WHY? WHY?: Why do we get appalled when it's a celebrity, but hide it when it's our own lives being torn apart? I do think the fact that it opened the door for more conversation with your children is great. But will you push the conversation to continue and direct it towards their situation? Should you? What do you do when you are the mother of children whose father abused you (and them to a degree) but they don't want to believe it? I think maybe it's time for a little family counseling. Especially if the kids are going to visit him. I'm not so sure we need to teach our kids to hate or dislike the ex because he was abusive. But at their ages, I do think it is vital that they are aware it happened and begin to come to terms with it. Otherwise, are they protected themselves? If they go to "Stinky's" thinking your the crazy one and the reason for the divorce - then are they going to watch for signs he might have a violent episode? This is a difficult question. Half of me is screaming - if there is even a chance he would be even verbally abusive they shouldn't go. The other half is saying - of course let them go. He's their father and they need to spend time with him. Just make sure they go completely prepared if something happens.

  • Comment Link Guest Tuesday, 10 February 2009 17:02 posted by Guest

    Domestic violence is not okay: Domestic violence is appalling. Women are disproportionately the victims, but men are sometimes the victims too. I hope Rihanna shows an example to other women and ends this relationship with this man. He may be a good person in other ways, but he did a very bad thing, and he needs to learn that that is not okay. The only way is for the victim to take a zero tolerance stance against this sort of behavior. One slap is one too many. One punch is one too many. One kick is one too many. The first time a man hits his parnter or vice versa, that relationship should end. Zero tolerance. I hope Rihanna is strong enough not to go back. It would send the right message to other women and young girls that they don't and shouldn't have to put up this this behavior. Because, statistically, it only gets worse, and there may be that one time that the violence turns deadly.