Chris Brown, Emma Roberts And The Growing Issue Of Relationship Violence

Chris Brown, Emma Roberts And The Growing Issue Of Relationship Violence

It's time to break the cycle of emotional and physical relationship abuse

Domestic violence is an issue that affects people of all ages, classes, genders, race and regions. According to US Department of Justice, women aged 16-24 experience the highest per capita rate of intimate partner violence.

It could be you, me, a family member or even a celebrity. Regardless, we are not alone, and this growing problem on college campuses and in life calls for action of change--not for acceptance.

In 2009, the relationship between celebrities Chris Brown and Rihanna splashed across the pages of every tabloid when Brown was reported to have choked the pop star until she was unconscious. In addition, TMZ reported that after the incident, Rihanna was left with major "contusions on both sides of the singer’s face, a black eye, a split lip, bloody nose and bite marks on one of her arms and on several fingers."

Brown was arrested, and less than a month later, Rihanna was back with Brown vacationing in St. Barths.

In 2013, actress Emma Roberts was arrested for domestic violence when her and her "American Horror Story" boyfriend, Evan Peters, were overheard by their Montreal hotel room neighbors fighting. When the police arrived, Peters had a bloody nose and bite marks on him. TMZ reported that Peters did not press charges, and the couple was back together within a month. The two have been off and on ever since.

One in three U.S. adolescents is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, and 43 percent of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors, including physical, sexual, tech, verbal and controlling abuse.

More than half of abusive relationships reconcile within three months of breaking up.

Rihanna said that she got back together with Brown because she "thought she could change him after the beating." According to Campus Safety Magazine, most people believe this, but honey, you can't. He or she is who he or she is, and an apology (or many apologies) won't change that.

I know, I love him/her, but love is about partners promoting the best versions of one another, not physically and emotionally tearing them down. If you are scared for your own or his/her safety after a break up, report it to your campus security and they will guide you through the steps.

Here's the number one issue: people have accepted relationship abuse as normal. Those who commented on the TMZ reports of both Roberts and Brown (as well as Ray Rice, Ozzy Osborne and many other cases) often blamed the victims as "probably deserving it" and "whining over a little roughing up."

IT IS NOT NORMAL. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ACCEPT ABUSE AS A DEFEAT. If your partner isn't treating you like the damn diamond that you are, you need to buff yourself off and find someone who will.

So, you may be thinking, "How do I know if I'm in an emotionally and/or physically abusive relationship?" Here are some warning signs from the Mayo Clinic:

  • Humiliating or embarrassing you.
  • Constant put-downs.
  • Hypercriticism.
  • Refusing to communicate.
  • Ignoring or excluding you.
  • Cheating.
  • Provocative behavior with others.
  • Use of sarcasm and unpleasant tone of voice.
  • Extreme moodiness.
  • Saying “I love you but…”
  • Saying things like “If you don’t _____, I will_____.”
  • Domination and control.
  • Withdrawal of affection.
  • Guilt trips.
  • Making everything your fault.
  • Isolating you from friends and family.
  • Using money to control you.
  • Constant calling or texting when you are not with him/her.
  • Reading your texts and monitoring your calls from outside the relationship.
  • Threatening to commit suicide if you leave.
  • Tells you that you are worthless, that no one loves you, that you should die, etc.
  • Uses your past against you.
  • Calls you names, insults you or puts you down
  • Prevents or discourages you from going to work or school
  • Prevents or discourages you from seeing family members or friends
  • Acts jealous or possessive or constantly accuses you of being unfaithful
  • Gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs
  • Threatens you with violence or a weapon
  • Hits, kicks, shoves, slaps, chokes or otherwise hurts you, your children or your pets
  • Forces you to have sex or engage in sexual acts against your will
  • Blames you for his or her violent behavior or tells you that you deserve it

Relationship abuse is never ever acceptable. If you are in an unhealthy relationship, break the cycle. Love is respect, and you are worth nothing but respect. No matter if it's a celebrity, a family member, or a friend, ask for help.

Contact your college campus security and/or the following toll-free hotlines for more information on relationship abuse and advice on exiting an abusive relationship: National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Sexual Assault Hotline

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Poetry On Odyssey: Some Days

A poem that reminds you that you're not alone.


Some days,

You dread the sound of your alarm. You snooze and snooze and snooze and snooze.

When you finally pull yourself out of bed, pressed time forces you to throw on stained sweats

you find yourself chugging a cup of coffee.

You sit on the couch and contemplate calling out of work

You caught the stomach bug,

Or perhaps the flu,

Maybe you broke your collar bone

Or need a new phone

The endless list of excuses repeats through your head as you sit on the couch, wishing you were still in bed.

It takes every ounce

Every breath

Every fiber of your being to pull yourself off the couch

And into the car

And into the building where you work

Some days,

This is just how it goes

You are not alone.

Some days,

You awake to the beautiful sound of birds

Chirping outside your window

The sun sneaks its way into your room

A smile creeps across your face as you realize you are awake to see a new day

You make a good breakfast

You read a few pages of your favorite book

You get your mind ready for the things it will accomplish today

Before you know it you've worked an entire day

Your job is done

As you pull into your driveway,

you take a few breaths

Feeling grateful for another meaningful day.

Some days,

This is how it goes

You are not alone.

Every day is a gamble,

Every day is a gift

The key to getting more good days

Is believing that everyday is one.

You are not alone, this is just how it goes.

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