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Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Ugly Face of Domestic Abuse/ Violence

(This was originally written Sunday, February 22, 2009 at 6:24pm)

I am very sure everyone has heard about the Chris Brown-Rihanna saga. Chris Brown beat up Rihanna, the whole world is hanging on to every tit-bit. Millions of viewers tune in daily, in fact by the minute to check the latest details while the more technologically-inclined ones browse the internet. Everyone is taking sides, it’s Chris Brown’s camp versus Rihanna’s camp. The tabloids are having a field day and the rest of the media world is treading carefully, it’s a ‘high-profile’ case.

Hold up a sec, am I the only one missing something here? Chris Brown beat up Rihanna, SO WHAT? Yes, so what? There are millions of women who suffer this same fate day in day out but because a ‘celeb’ is involved, the world must come to an end. I am not belittling this case in any way, not at all, I am saying people let’s put this in perspective. Instead of focusing on the ‘one’ woman that we know is a victim of this ugly menace, let us consider the millions out there that are still suffering this abuse.

I must say, I have heard about Domestic Abuse, I have read about it but until this incident, I never considered the enormity of it. It has happened, it has happened, it’s not time to take sides or cast recriminations but a time to sit up and take action to ensure that this does not happen again when it can be stopped. I really am embarrassed with the LAPD handling of this case. I respect them and applaud them for their efforts daily and their handling of this case but as far as I am concerned, they too have seemingly lost focus on this issue, they are too concerned with the fact that it is a celebrity and the fact that they have jurisdiction and all the facts and ‘we must be shown to be efficient in all we do’ to consider the full implications of this.

First of all, when the news first broke, a wise step would have been to say that the issue was under control but also that this was a reminder of the evil that is domestic abuse that goes on everyday and they would have gone on to say that they are calling out to people to watch out and be their neighbour’s keepers; and if they know people that are suffering this to get them help and get them police protection. Then when her name and the picture came out, a wise step would have been to say of course we are investigating this leak as it should never have happened but it was bound to happen. They would have said let’s not focus on the fact that it leaked or whether or not it is Rihanna (Robyn Fenty), let us look at that face and not just see a possible star’s battered face but the face of millions of women around the world on a daily basis; women powerless to stop it; Women whose neighbours are too busy ‘minding their own business’.........but not too busy to ‘mind celebrities businesses’. The LAPD would have used this as an excellent opportunity to set up or if one exists, advertise a helpline for victims. This is the most effective advertisement that anybody will find to fight Domestic Abuse. This is because people will associate it with someone they admire and respect, see the full implications and stand up to help and thus reduce this. I am not saying exploit the case, I am saying use this as an opportunity to fight for the millions of faceless women out there going through this.

Some people will say ‘ma momma told me, leave it be, you can’t help’, or ‘this is only one person out of millions, it makes no difference’. LIE. IT does make a difference. As a wise gentleman known as Lao-Tzu said, ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with ONE step’. “Little drops of water form a mighty ocean” says a children’s adage. It is true, this was proved by the election of the first black president in America and this can be proved again. I will borrow from President Obama’s statement and say, Yes we can stop domestic violence in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia; YES WE CAN stop domestic violence in the world.


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