Rihanna and Chris Brown, The Anatomy of an Abusive Relationship

Why do the people we care about, continue to hurt themselves by staying in an abusive relationship?

Rihanna and Chris Brown…

Peace? Really!
Peace? Really!

Every day, thousands of women across the country pull a Rihanna, and choose to stay in an abusive or dangerous relationship. We all either know, or have heard about someone in that type of situation, so the question becomes…why?

We ask ourselves, who in their right mind would stay some place, where they are constantly getting hurt and neglected? Well, under the right circumstances… you.

In 2011, Harris Interactive conducted a survey of 2,500 women ages 18-35 for Glamour magazine, which cited love as being, the number one reason women give for staying in hard knock relationships (no pun intended). The next three reasons: lack of money, concern about custody, and fear of never finding someone else.

Apparently, cases of abuse in relationships have become so commonplace that, even the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is working to investigate causes and solutions. The CDC calls these cases instances of “Intimate Partner Violence” (IPV) and consider it a public health concern, for many quantifiable reasons. This includes the fact that IPV resulted in 2,340 deaths in 2007 (of those, 70% were females). The CDC estimates that the cost of medical care, mental health services, and lost productivity due to things like having to take time off work, cost over $8 billion in 2003.

Brainwashing is another major culprit, in abusive relationships. The abuser typically destroys the self-esteem of the victim so much that, the victim begins to believe all the crap they’re being fed: “you’re a bad person…no one else will want you… you’ll never see your kids again… ” Heck, many of us walk around with these thoughts all by ourselves, and we’re not even in an abusive relationship. If someone, particularly someone you love, becomes the loudspeaker of your internal thoughts, how long do you think it will take before you would start believing them in your heart?

The most dangerous aspect of situations like Rihanna and Chris’ is not so much their own personal relationship, but more so the example being set for young wome, who look up to and idolize Rihanna.  Though not deliberately, she is essentially telling them that it is normal and acceptable to be nearly beaten to death by your boyfriend. If our children develop their habits and ideals about the world at home, as they should, it wouldn’t matter what celebrities do (or if celebrities were able to do whatever they do privately, outside the limelight, – which is not realistic these days). Unfortunately, the images and values that spew out of our electronic devices is pretty much the sole source for millions of teens, tweens, and twenty-something’s across the country.

Therefore this “stand by your man” attitude creates a ripple effect that could produce earthquakes in the lives of millions of people for decades to come.

Have we really reached the point in evolution where the actions of one individual can change the course of humanity? We have always been here and always will be.

Should Rihanna leave Chris Brown just to set a good example for the young women who look up to her? Absolutely not. Do you know how hard it is to find someone to love? Plus, that’s her business.

So then what’s the solution? You tell me.