from a past abused victim – this is what i have to say…

it's in the news. a lot. about how chris brown assaulted his girlfriend, rhianna, and how rumours has it that she is still staying with her man.

people are voicing out their opinion. and with the whole phenomena of the blog-world, people are REALLY voicing out all types of opinions.

this is my turn…

i couldn't agree more with the majority of the masses that she should consider, if the rumors are in fact true (we really do not have 100% proof that they are), leaving mr. brown. it's obviously a toxic relationship and the chances of him hurting her again are pretty high.

i've heard a lot of voices say that she is being stupid. some even suggest that if she stays, she deserves an abusive relationship. people are chastising her for being a poor role model for little girls.

these are not new comments, though. i have heard them countless of times whenever a woman stays in an abusive relationship. and each time, i have no way of knowing exactly how to make these people understand what it is like being an abused victim.

even as i type this now, i have no idea if my words will make a difference. it seems to be a life-time battle. but i persist. because perhaps one person out there may read this and change their mind about what it is like for a victim of such a toxic relationship.

to begin, i will say that an abusive relationship does not happen overnight. what we saw of rihanna's situation was probably not the first time something like this has happened. perhaps, past times, were no where near as explosive as it was moments before they were to arrive at the grammy's. perhaps he never even laid a finger on her before. but i'm willing to bet good money that the abusive relationship was cultivated long before the symptoms started to make it's way known to the public eye.

an abuser is not just some one who lashes out in anger, resulting in bruises, broken bones and even blood on their partner. an abuser is a controller. a very good controller – one who has crafted his abilities to dominate the other person to the point where it's almost an art. it's sudtle at first with extremely well-skilled manipulation. before the victim is even aware of what is going on, he/she finds herself smack in a middle of a situation that is harder to get out then perceived by others.

the victim isn't exactly wanting to get hurt. or wanting to stay in the relationship. she has been beaten, mentally and emotionally, to the point where the abuser even has a certain amount of mind control on her. i can't help but to think about cults… think about how the cult leader is able to control so many people's minds into following everything that cult leader says or wants. there's similarities of how these mind games work. and the mind, really, is incredibly fragile.

if anyone out there wants to deny that they have any weaknesses in their own mind, i would have no qualms about calling them foolish, conceited and in complete denial.

we all have soft spots. we all have holes and weaknesses. and an abuser is good at finding a way to get through any thick wall we might have built to try and shelter and/or protect ourselves.

are some people less likely to be in an abusive relationship? probably. then again, i've seen some of the strongest women finding themselves in that exact situation which they swore they would never be in.

it's not about the victim being weak. it's about the victim being weakened. there is a tremendous difference.

there is often a lot of anger put on the victim for either staying in the relationship or even entering such a relationship in the first place.

i question people's intent of getting angry… or using anger towards said victim. is it going to help the victim's self-esteem and confidence, i wonder. this victim has already suffered so much anger from the abuser and probably within themselves. is anger, especially from those that are suppose to be their support network, something that is going to improve their self-esteem? i highly doubt it.

as for rihanna being a role model, well, to some degree, i suppose one can argue that anyone who decides to choose the path of fame should expect that they will be labeled a 'role model' at least once in their career. i question, however, why people expect this one person to be responsible in teaching children what is right and what is wrong in a relationship.

as a mother myself, i do not expect that rihanna be the sole influence on my daughter's education when it comes to healthy, interpersonal relationships. in fact, i do not expect any celebrity to be a sole influence. that is my job. and my husband's. and even the teacher's. isn't it our responsibility to talk to our children, perhaps teaching them that not only is it okay to be with some one who will hurt them, but that perhaps to show that some one like rihanna is a victim rather then some one who should be punished further?

whatever happened to taking this opportunity in teaching our children about compassion for a fellow human being who is hurt and suffering? are we so lazy, as human beings, to the point where the only lesson we can teach is one that results in a black and white answer? how well are we preparing our children for the future if we do not point out that very grey area which is what life encompasses – which is also why life is so unpredictable and a life-time battle to understand?

i simply am saddened that through all the education we have about abused victims and the relationship they have with their abuser, people are still so callous… so many seem to feel that it is okay to simplify what is really a very complex situation.

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