Rihanna and Chris Brown Reunion?: Why Domestic Abuse Must Not Be Portrayed as Acceptable

The topic of choice this month for PAVE is Healthy Relationships. While February is almost over I want to continue the conversation considering recent news of Rihanna and Chris Brown collaborating on a remix, “Birthday Cake” and confirmation that they are “rekindling” their relationship after Rihanna was a victim of violent abuse in their previous relationship. While this “rekindling” is sure to get a lot of media coverage, I appreciate the feministing.com post going directly to the bigger issues involved that are more important than the celebrity couple reunion itself.

The post discussed how this would affect the conversation on domestic violence being that a reunion between the two celebrities would be a widely viewed, public affair. As mentioned in the post, this raises concern in part because it is not unlikely for victims to return to their abusers; but what kind of example does this set? Will people use this to cut off a real discussion about domestic violence, and the circumstances and norms that surround the issue because a female celebrity chose to restart a professional and/or personal relationship with her perpetrator?

I want to talk about why this happens. Why do victims of domestic violence return to their abuser? I am aware that their are circumstances that prevent victims from getting out of an abusive relationship, but that does not make the violence okay. I agree with the article that the main point is that even if Rihanna and Chris Brown get back together, domestic abuse is unacceptable with no exceptions. I just hope fans of Rihanna and Chris Brown don’t form the wrong impression about domestic abuse from this.

-Sarah