The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Celebrity arrest focuses attention on domestic abuse, prevention

By David Butler/reporter

The relationship that recording artists Chris Brown and Robin “Rihanna” Fenty shared had been compared to that of Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles.

All that changed Feb. 8.

According to TMZ, police reports said Brown received a text message from a woman who wanted to get together.

An argument erupted, and the police report said Fenty faked a call to someone saying “make sure the cops are there.”

The fake call enraged Brown, Fenty said. Brown allegedly told Fenty, “I’m going to kill you,” and began a violent attack with his fist, according to police.

Pictures that police took of Fenty, which showed contusions on the face, swollen eyes, a cut lip, a bloody nose and bite marks on fingers and arms, leaked onto the Internet.

Since the incident, both stars have avoided the media and canceled scheduled events. So far, the Got Milk campaign and Wrigley have distanced themselves from Brown.

The sad reality is one does not have to go that far to find someone who has been a victim of this crime or knows somebody who has. A questionnaire given to several TCC students elicited various reactions and experiences on the topic.

“I’ve been in Rihanna’s shoes when I was in high school,” said Allison Beck, TCC student. “I believed that control meant that I was loved.”

Beck said her boyfriend decided what she could and could not do. 

“I no longer thought I could make my own decisions,” she said. “This could have been anything from what I was planning to wear or if I would stay on the phone with him.”

Beck said her experience has taught her one thing.

“No one can love you if you don’t love and respect yourself,” she said.

Student Paige Caliva shared her story.

“My ex-husband started by verbally abusing me. That turned into him choking me and hitting me,” she said. “I stayed around for two months after that when one night he hit a can into my mouth as I was taking a drink.”

Caliva’s experience has changed her perspective.

“I know some women think that they can’t make it without them or love them and make up excuses for them, but there is no reason that a man should abuse a woman,” she said.

The victims include mothers, sisters, wives and girlfriends. Since men do not exist without women, why have men waged war against them?

A Bureau of Justice Statistics report covering 1993-2001 said, on average, more than three women are killed each day by husbands or boyfriends.

According to the Surgeon General, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in the U.S.

The Department of Justice estimates that 95 percent of the victims of domestic violence are women. Anywhere from 1 to 3 million women are battered each year by their intimate partner.

TCC student Ashley Redford said she learned about relationships growing up in a home with battling parents.

“I had to learn that is not what a relationship is about,” she said. “I have had a couple of relationships where a guy thought he could do this to me. He found out quick that wasn’t the case.”

Student Eric Sands said situations like Brown and Fenty’s bring domestic abuse into the spotlight, but then it gradually disappears.

“The sad part is, however, that the problem never goes away,” he said.

Sands said the U.S. needs strict laws regarding abuse and that victims need to put the aggressor in jail.

“When you are the victim of domestic abuses, it is horribly scary because you have no idea if the person will actually be in jail when you do finally take a stand,” he said. “Who would be willing to turn in the person that beats them if there is no guarantee?”

Having witnessed family members in such relationships, TCC student LaShawnda Reed said domestic abuse is also a difficult situation and scary for everyone around the couple. She would place the blame on both parties.

“Both women and men that are in abusive situations need to get help,” she said. “Even though you may feel alone … there are always going to be people that care. But you have to care about yourself first.”

For advice and support, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Advice for victims of domestic abuse

Call 911. Women who need help immediately should always call 911 first.

Know your abuser’s red flags. Be on alert for signs and clues your abuser is getting upset.

Identify safe areas of the house. Know where to go if your abuser attacks or an argument starts. Stay away from small rooms or rooms with weapons, such as a kitchen.

Prepare to leave at a moment’s notice. Keep the car fueled and facing the driveway, have emergency cash, clothing and phone numbers stashed in a safe place like a friend’s house.

Source: Help Guide.org

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