The glitz and glamour of Hollywood doesn’t keep rain from falling and umbrellas sometimes will fail. Sadly, when things begin to fall apart in tinsel town it is for the whole world to see. The storm clouds always dampen the show and the absence of Rihanna and Chris Brown from the Grammys signaled trouble in paradise.
A leaked photograph from the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed what many had openly feared; one of our favorite pop divas had been domestically abused. Unfortunately this tragic scenario is being played out everyday in neighborhoods across America. According to the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence, 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically abused annually. The victims of this crime are not limited to the person being abused, but also all of their friends and family. When you think of this in consideration of the statistic mentioned above, it may double or triple the stated numbers.
“I don’t want to mention the person’s name – it wasn’t my real father – but somebody hurt my mom and me. I had to deal with that from age 7 all the way to 13. It affected me, especially [my behavior] towards women – I treat them differently. I don’t want to put a woman through the same thing that person put my mom through,” Chris Brown shared intimately in an interview on November 26, 2007 posted on Media Outrage. In research conducted by the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “children who witness domestic violence show more anxiety, low self esteem, depression, anger and temperament problems than children who do not witness violence in the home. The trauma they experience can show up in emotional, behavioral, social and physical disturbances that effect their development and can continue into adulthood.”
More times than acceptable, the results of domestic violence can be fatal. The loss of Jennifer Hudson’s brother and nephew last year allegedly at the hands of her sister’s scorned lover, again brought this far-reaching crime to the forefront. According to research by Africana Voices Against Violence, Tuft University, violence initiated by an intimate partner was the number one cause of death for African American women ages 15 to 34. This is an epidemic that is plaguing our community, friends, and families.
It is important that we make our voices heard so that we can put an end to this vicious cycle. There are many organizations ready to assist victims and their families, so for those who are suffering, you are never alone. If you know someone who may be losing a battle against domestic violence, please contact one of the following organizations. It just might save a life.
National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit their website at www.ndvh.org.
Virginians Against Domestic Violence at 1-800-838-8238 or visit their website at www.vadv.org.
Chesterfield City Victim/Witness Assistance Program 101000 Iron Bridge Road P.O. Box 554 Chesterfield VA 23832 796-7087
YWCA – Women’s Advocacy Program 6 North 5th Street Richmond VA 23219 Business 643-6761 Hotline/Crisis: 804-643-0888 Toll Free: 804-796-3066
Domestic Violence Intervention Project c/o Richmond 501 N. 9th St. Richmond VA 23219 780-6900 Hotline/Crisis: 780-6924
Henrico City Area Mental Health Center Domestic Violence Treatment 10299 Woodman Rd. Glen Allen VA 23060 261-8500 Hotline/Crisis: 804-261-8484