Posted by: lindseychristine | November 8, 2009

When the Wounds Never Heal: The Harsh Reality of Violence Against Women

rhianna1The talented, beautiful, pop icon, Rihanna, publicly addressed the horrific night her ex-boyfriend, Chris Brown, violently attacked her following a post-Grammy celebration in February to Diane Sawyer on Friday’s edition of 20/20. A text message Brown received from an ex-girlfriend which aggravated Rihanna, ultimately led Brown to viciously shove her against the car window, punch her left eye, bite her ear and fingers, put her into two headlocks so severe she struggled to breathe, and threaten to kill her.

Confirming the painful events that transpired that evening from police reports, viewers could surely detect the immense pain Rihanna was experiencing from her eyes which displayed dire disgust and distress. She justified to Sawyer that when you’re beaten by a man the scars on a woman’s body may heal, but the internal scars do not heal, which was reported on the Examiner on Friday.

When Sawyer asked Rihanna why she would feel ashamed about seeing the photo of herself beaten and battered by Brown, she responded, “I fell in love with that person, that’s embarrassing. That’s embarrassing that that’s the type of person that I fell in love with, so far in love. So unconditional that I went back.” Rihanna explained that being passionately in love with Brown, her “best friend” and first true love, powerfully brainwashed her to go back to him and blame herself for his incident of rage.

The prevalence of intimate partner violence has caused the medical treatment of battered women to make up 15-30% of ER visits in this country, according to a Violence Against Women on College Campuses report by the Feminist Majority Foundation. This organization emphasized that violence against women being so widespread may cause a woman to not “think twice” about leaving their partner. The Feminist Majority Foundation reported that women who are abused may stay with their partner for a variety of reasons which include, “emotional, physical, or psychological coercion, financial stability, and love.”

domestic_violence_080207_msThis young pop star has certainly brought much awareness of violence against women into the spotlight, which is unfortunately so prevalent in this nation and throughout the world. Domestic violence is the main cause of injury to women in the U.S. where approximately 5.3 million women are abused annually, according to the American Institute on Domestic Violence. This organization reported that about 1,232 women die annually from being abused by their intimate partner.

Unlike Rihanna’s case, numerous women who are victimized by their boyfriends and husbands often go unreported. The National Center for Victims of Crime confirmed that only 20% of women who are abused report it to the police. The reality that women are being violently abused and is kept hush hush and under the radar is incredibly disturbing.

domestic_abuseOne and five college women will experience some type of dating violence, according to a Live Strong report. The U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, reported, “Females ages 16-24 are more vulnerable to intimate partner violence than any other age group at a rate almost triple the national average.” Thus, 60% of 500 females aged 16-24 who were surveyed, reported that they were currently in abusive relationships, according to the Live Strong site. In May 2001, the Bureau of Justice also confirmed that 60% of young women who were raped identified their rapists as boyfriends, friends, or acquaintances.

If there was one piece of information that truly stuck with me in regards to women who unfortunately find themselves in abusive relationships it was Rihanna’s mature words of wisdom at the conclusion of her 20/20 interview. Rihanna exclaimed, “I will say that to any young girl who is going through domestic violence, don’t react off of love… Come out of the situation and look at it in the third person and for what it really is,” which was provided in an exclusive by Good Morning America.

UConn’s Women’s Center provides additional information on dating violence here.



  1. Two very, very good posts. Excellent.


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