Friday, 27 February 2009

Down a dangerous path: A personal note to the singer, Rihanna

Rihanna, Rihanna, Rihanna. I don't know you, but I do know what it is like to be in a situation like yours. Once you've been abused, .seeing someone else in a similar situation is like holding a mirror up to your past Yet, when a person is in it, she or he thinks that the situationis unique in all of the world. That's part of the evil glue that holds victims there for so long. People on the outside just don't understand and they never will.

It's easy for outsiders to say, "Don't go back to him." And, really, Rihanna is lucky to have friends, family and fans who support and worship her. Still, when a person's self esteem has reached bottom, no amount of praise or common sense can dig them out of the hole they've created. Being young, she's lost in love, that immature love that drowns out the self and replaces one heart with another.

Of all of the women whom I have interviewed on the topic of domestic violence, only one left after the first time. Of course, the first time with her landed her in the hospital. Most of the time it starts with a push, slap or grab and gradually increases in intensity and force. The abuse is typically followed by apologies and often manipulative tears. The abuse victims, with their loving hearts and broken self image, wind up back again for round after round. On average, it takes five to seven tries for a person to leave an abusive partner.

So, Rihanna, while I will understand the reasons that you went back, if you decide to go, I will tell you this: It doesn't get better. Rarely are batterers rehabilitated completely. You are young, you are beautiful and you are talented. There are other men out there who will treat you the way that you deserve to be treated. I've done the research, both professionally and personally, and I can attest to everything I say.

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