The Battle Of The Browns: Domestic Violence in the Media

“Love Will Find A Way” – Whitney Houston

Right now, in the media fueled by Whitney Houston’s death there are repeated interviews of her which depict her life on drugs and in a domestically violent marriage to R&B Super Star Bobby Brown. Many messages through the media and social networks on statuses all over the world express mourn for Whitney, prayers for Bobbi Kristina, and morbid hatred for Bobby Brown.

The blame for her death is being put on the R&B group member of New Edition. Many people do not feel that it was wrong for him to be “invited” to his ex-wife’s funeral, or wrong that he would be given specific direction not to speak to their daughter to console her – despite the fact that he went out to dinner with Whitney and Bobbi a week prior to her death.

Chris Brown is equally in the media but for another reason. He is being protested against by people who stood outside of the Grammy’s in possessive hope that the actor/singer would be removed from the performance list forever. They are also angry that he won a Grammy. And to add conflict to confusion, he and Rihanna released two duet songs together this week.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence has more than one name. Often referred to as domestic abuse, battering, intimate partner violence, spousal battery, spousal abuse, Family violence, domestic violence is defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by one partner against another.

#TEAMBREEZY

Teenagers, and I even saw a very mature woman proclaiming that Chris Brown could beat them and then they listed there reason why he could beat them, in exchange for sexual experiences. After reading the statuses that I have made available if you click here, what is clear to me is that the world is in a very sensitive time right now. I have been watching the energy shift and it seems that sensitivity is way up, while reality is way down. We have songs that hit the record charts that encourage children to say things like “Oooh he can get it,” and “He can get the business.”

I do not approve of the messages on Face Book and if it had been my child named here, I would have her removed from the list immediately to protect her and then I would handle my own parental business at home. These messages may be inappropriate but not for the reason you think. It may appear as crass, but these women are not domestic violent hopefuls as the media would want to presume. These women are speaking out of a place of fantasy emotion.

Did you happen to see Chris Brown’s chest the other night? I am not a lustful person but even I felt uncomfortable (trying to remember if he was old enough for me to drool). I love my husband-to-be and I am blessed to have him. Chris Brown really needed to close his shirt at the Grammy’s. He was trying to infect us with #TeamBreezy.

I dispute the claims that these young girls, and women were actually open to being beat by Chris Brown, and I highly doubt that Chris Brown would approve of their statements. However, I know of many men who have expressed that there are women who ask to be choked in sexually compromising positions. They ask to be beaten and to be treated with indiscretion.

What I believe has happened here is that people are building upon the fantasy comments of emotion that lusting women and teenage girls have said on their social network profiles to get some agreement, some likes.

On the other hand, there are teenage young women, and adult women who in writing these comments actually do feel this way. It is scary to think that someone at any age, ethnicity or place in life would feel that being beat by a man is worth it, if he has sex with you. The focus, and blame should be taken off of Chris Brown. If these women would allow him to do this to them for a good time, they would also allow a man that they actually date to do this. This is not a Chris Brown problem.

Chris Brown and Rihanna

But I digress, where was I? Oh, yes Chris, Chris Brown. I am alarmed at the way that people who do not know him have successfully put together hater nations to get him ousted for something he did just out of his teens, years ago to a woman that no one has questioned.  With songs about murder, and suicide, no one has any thoughts about the darkness of Rihanna, or are we going to continue to blame Chris for that one too?

One thing that makes me extremely uncomfortable is the fact that people are getting high off of keeping them apart when they clearly want to be together. Inside sources have told me personally about their relationship. They were deeply in love. And from this extremely close source inside of their personal relationship, it was Rihanna who would provoke him to anger. He would not hit her. What we saw in the media was an unfortunate snap by Brown who probably should have taken a break from the relationship long before that moment. Do I agree with him hitting her? NO!

I am not at liberty to confirm my inside sources or to share details of their relationship however I will say that I am tired of Chris Brown being enlisted into the men who domestically abuse their women. He had one situation with Rihanna. It was bad. He is sorry. And, he did go to anger management classes.

“Sometimes you have to just let things be.” – Chris Brown

But the truth is that both Chris Brown and Rihanna are victims in this situation and to talk about one and not the other sets the wrong example about domestic violence in my opinion at home. Rihanna may be emotionally abusive, Chris Brown may be physically abusive.

Haven’t you heard the word that it takes two people to argue. Try it out. Let someone go off on you, and you just sit there like a door – eventually they either calm down, become more aggressive or quit the hooping and hollering altogether. I am not a fan of arguing at all, and I do not like to be in situations where someone is constantly provoking.

My Last Relationship

There are some people that like to pick, pick and pick in their relationships. They can be aggressive, emotionally abusive and provoking. I do not know why they feel they have to be this way but many women do it. In my last relationship, my ex-fiance would do this. He liked to get me angry and to see a rise in me.

I don’t like to be angry but it was like he wasn’t happy unless I was upset. He had constant drama. The only relationship I have ever had like this. My mother could not stand him, and for good reason. He did not bring out the best in me. He was extremely emotionally abusive to me and thank God I did not marry him. He wanted me to snap. He even said it one day.

He would go and tell his child’s mother and her friends that I would be violent toward them if they kept talking negative about me- volunteering me to fight. I don’t even really want to talk about him or that relationship but I want to help you to understand that each relationship is different. No one ever thought that perhaps Chris Brown was being abused or taunted in some way that would provoke him to snap?

Men who are domestically violent do not need a reason, I know. I am a good person but I cannot be in a relationship where someone constantly shows aggression toward me. This conversation is extremely important. Of an intimate partner violence example that I gave in a previous blog where a close family friend had been beat with a brick and thrown up against a brick wall, the grandmother stated that “I know my granddaughter. I know her mouth.”

Be clear, I am not saying that violent behavior is okay but like infidelity, most people don’t wake up and want to beat up their partner. Most people don’t wake up and want an affair. Please take my words literal and do not try to feed into them. Domestic Violence and Infidelity for that matter are unacceptable. What I am saying however, is that violence is often the climax to what may have been an emotionally abusive relationship. I write a lot about emotional abuse here like “Stop Minimizing Me”, and “My Letter to My Mother.”

In my situation, he brought out aggression in me, and when I felt that I would snap I completely disconnected. He was no longer able to have a phone number to contact me. I moved so that he could not show up, and my business closed too so he could not stop by for an unannounced visit.

His actions toward me were progressive and while I do not think he wanted to have a physically abusive relationship, he projected much of his own issues on me and it was unhealthy. Thank God I’m out of that! Maybe he would be good paired with someone else but he was not the one for me.

Chris Brown and Rihanna

According to growing reports, the once couple have been spending private time together. Of course, they are going to deny being an item, you won’t leave them alone! Chris Brown and Rihanna were madly in love and they had a very embarrassing, unhealthy private moment in public. The court protective order was lifted a year ago. I noticed that they both performed at the 2012 Grammy’s. Call me crazy but she did not look scared. I did not like her performance although I have recently become a fan, since she’s let go of the homicidal and Russian Roulette type of songs, to exchange them for You Da One!

Rihanna and Chris Brown are officially back together!

They have also released two songs together. I think that the explicit nature of their lyrics are alarming. Again, I have to say that this is a song that was put on Rihanna’s album. Doesn’t she have a label to answer to? These two are not the only ones who heard the song and decided for it to be put on her album. This was a choice presented and approved so that you and I would talk about it, and blog about it, and eat – sleep- breathe Rihanna and Chris Brown.

I also think that they are both young (in their twenties), and making mistakes that most twenty-somethings make. Rihanna always has questionable music, I am not sure why anyone has expected differently. Additionally, Chris Brown and Rihanna are gaining attention. The more you talk about it, the more record sales go up. The truth is, this is a great time to talk about your moral compass for your family at home, but I don’t think judging them is the way to do that.

Talk about the way a woman and a man should treat each other, without focusing on Chris Brown and Rihanna because the truth is, you do not know what happens between them at home. He is not some raging lunatic, and it is unfair to summarize him this way. Perhaps Rihanna is going back because she always loved him, but she felt pressured by the media. Perhaps she knows her man better than you or I, and understands that he’s not crazy! On the other hand, if we go back to the definition of domestic violence, it is not one encounter but a cycle or pattern of abuse. I agree that their relationship was an abusive relationship but choosing sides without actually being in their home with them, and then projecting your media focused opinions onto your children is not giving them a full perspective at all.

Let’s have conversations about What Love Does (my trademark for a Teen Dating Violence Workshop that I conduct in and out of high schools.) Let’s have conversations not about the Brown’s but about how to have healthy relationships. What does that look like for you?

Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston was considered a sweetheart in the industry that was taken captive into a web of destruction by the big bad evil New Edition and solo R&B star Bobby Brown. Even before I began working in this field, I repeated what some of the news reports alleged, that he was the reason for her drug abuse.

“If you had to name the devil for you, the biggest devil among them?” 

“That Would Be ME!” – Whitney Houston (Diane Sawyer Interview)

Whitney herself has said in several interviews that she does not do what she does not want to do. She was with Bobby Brown because in her words, she loved him. I find it interesting that she refers to her drug abuse as a bad habit, and Bobby Brown her addiction.

Whitney has always been responsible in stating that she was with Bobby and was involved in drug abuse because she wanted to be. I may not agree with their proclamations of love because the evidence played out in the media is of such abuse however I know that narcotic and substance abuse are bad combinations for healthy relationships.

She said that what they did, they did it together. When Whitney was ready to get out, she did. I am in no way defending Bobby Brown. He was clearly abusive to Whitney. She has described more than on situation, and patterns of abuse in their relationship. He does not get a pass from me at all. I will not be convincing you that you should forgive him and move on.

However, I do believe that the media is wrong for spinning the story to depict Bobby Brown as the reason for her drug addiction. To my knowledge, she never said that he held her down and drugged her every day. Her admissions were on the contrary in her famous interview that created the household phrase, “Crack is Wack.”

Bobby Brown did not kill Whitney Houston with drugs or their relationship. Whitney Houston said that Bobby Brown did not hit her in the Diane Sawyer interview but that she had hit him. Perhaps the violence escalated by the time of the Oprah video, where she maintained that he had not hit her but that she was spat on by Bobby. He also shoved her but not hit her says Whitney. Whitney admitted in both interviews to hitting him.

Bobby Brown also admitted in the interview with him and then wife Whitney Houston that he was diagnosed as Bi-Polar. This presents a challenge in and of itself for any married couple.

Whitney was in a new relationship with a man seventeen years younger who rides around in a Rolys Royce, and has been rumored by his sex tape to have a nice package. Ray J and Whitney had been seen around dating for about two years. Three days after her passing his book was released that chronicled some of their relationship; this confirmed from his media interviews.

Bobby Brown was married to Whitney Houston for 14 years. Take a moment and think about that. If he was still married to her at her death, he would have been the one to plan the funeral because it would have been his responsibility.

I am so personally hurt that Bobby Brown was not welcomed to Whitney’s Funeral. Bobby should not have had to speak to lawyers, to have permission to attend a funeral, to see his daughter or to have only a few  guests. He has an entire side of his family that knew Whitney, and loved her. He has children that Whitney was a stepmother to.

We do not control people married or not. Even in a marriage you are two individual people who become one. And, let’s look at patterns of abuse for a moment. We attract certain relationships to us. Ray J is do different than Bobby Brown was in his day. Ray J essentially became famous because of his sister who came up the ranks before him.

Ray J is fine as I don’t know what – we know this, so a sex tape with Kim Kardashian certainly helped his career. Although no one has confirmed other than Fabulous that Ray J gets high on Whitney (another name the rapper Fabulous used for Cocaine), you have to ask yourself what they have in common.

Lastly, Whitney Houston by everyone’s account is the Pop Queen/Princess for the entire World, right? So it is appropriate to say that she could have had anyone that she wanted. She wanted Bobby Brown. She is also a Jersey girl,  different from her public Clive Davis image. They had a lot in common.

I do not know Whitney Houston, but I do know that she would not have wanted Bobby Brown to be treated this way. He left because he was not being treated the way that he should have been. I am appalled that R. Kelly sung on the pulpit, and Ray J has a seat but Bobby Brown neither spoke, or was able to come in with his entourage. Bobby Brown was not a guest. Does everyone understand that? He was not a guest a Whitney Houston’s funeral.

Intimate Partner Violence

Are you the right fit for each other? It is important to assess how both parties treat each other. Are you aggressive toward your man or woman? Do you minimize their feelings or put them down? Do you tell them about all the things they need to fix, constantly noting imperfections and making them the source of arguments?

Why are you with each other? Do you love each other? Do you love yourself? How? How do you do this? If Love is an action word, there should be evidence of your love. If your partner is constantly stressed, worn, frustrated by your relationship it is time to take a step back and look at what you may be doing to contribute to this. If anything, emotional abuse and domestic violence often are identified in the same battered relationship.

But there’s just one thing I want to point out. And, I hope for the love of God that people leave Chris Brown alone after this. Domestic Violence is a pattern of abuse that can be combined by emotional abuse, sexual battery, physical abuse, verbal abuse or other acts of violence. I know from intel that Chris Brown is not a domestically violent partner. He does not beat his women, and he did not always beat Rihanna. This was one explosion, a climactic event to smaller situations that provoked him. What I would be more concerned about is if they get back together are they willing to have spiritual counseling so that they can learn how to communicate with each other. It is important to learn how to communicate the way that you need to receive love, and to identify what is emotionally abusive or triggers for you.

Either way, Rihanna and Chris Brown have not had a chance to break up after finding out that they are not the one. They were broken up, the media, the camp and the courts have told them what to do. I do believe that both camps should be in observation of the couple to make sure that they are not abusing one another. In my relationships, I have learned that when an opportunity comes back around with a past relationship, I always remember why I broke off or walked away from the relationship but Chris Brown and Rihanna will need to determine their own fate.

As two responsible adults, the couple could write a love song, instead of that crap that was just released. They really don’t have to tell us their business. However, I do think that it would be life-changing for many teenagers facing domestically violent relationships, if Rihanna and Chris (both and individually) go and speak with young people about the how to treat each others with love and respect.

My personal belief is that Michael Vick should not have done the time that he did however, I love the fact that he had an internal change, not only from his incarceration, but as a role model. I love that you can see the transformation of Michael Vick through his service to the communities in which he did in an effort to raise awareness about the illegal dog fighting.

What if Chris Brown and Rihanna talked about domestic violence? Rihanna has gotten some very dark fans because of her talk about homicide and suicide. What if she spoke out about her experiences with overcoming abuse?

Lasting Thoughts

Any kind of domestic violence is serious and if you feel on the inside of you that you are not being treated with the most love and respect that you require, the person you are dating (woman or man), is not the one for you.

Men are always so macho minded. It is the reason that I wrote the Lil Wayne and Child Sexual Abuse blog. Men are not punks or soft because they have feelings, and needs in a relationship. I always tell my daughter how important it is to respect your man, and to show him that by your listening and constant encouragement. Again, I am not condoning the incident with Chris Brown and Rihanna, but I do not believe that he should be the face of domestic violence.

There are other celebrities who have had multiple relationships, and multiple wives come out to the media, and in police reports to say that they have been violent against them. There are men who have a pattern of abuse. Additionally, there are many women who have patterns of abuse either emotional or physical as well. I want to acknowledge that there are some men who have patterns of abuse, but Chris Brown is not your guy. If Rihanna has forgiven him, maybe you should too.

One thing about domestic violence is that two people are in a relationship and it is intimate. You never know what is going on behind closed doors but there is one thing for sure, Chris Brown is not the guy in “Love the way you Lie” by Eminem and Rihanna. Instead, if you need a face and someone’s career to ruin, find someone with patterns of abuse. I can name a few like Terrence Howard, Brian McKnight who lost my devotion after news of his domestic violence surfaced.

People make mistakes, and I’d like to think that we are forgiving enough to allow people to rehabilitate from physical abuse, and self-destruction. Bobby Brown and Chris Brown do not get a pass from me. However, I do believe that sometimes we have to be quiet and allow people to grow at their own pace. There is room for redemption. Let them rise.

Written By: Ressurrection Graves

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About Ressurrection

Ressurrection Graves is a Child Sexual Abuse Grooming Expert and H.E.A.L.E.R. (Healer, Educator, Activist, Life Skills Expert, Empowerment Speaker, Relationship Mentor) Her website reaches readership in 188 countries. She is available for national speaking engagements, radio and television interviews. She can be reached at: 202.717.7377 or send your request to: ressurrection dot wordpress at yahoo dot com or comment on http://www.ressurrection.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Emotional Abuse, Relationships, Teen Dating Relationships: Violence and Emotional Wellness, Ten Ways to Safeguard your Child from Sexual Abuse and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Battle Of The Browns: Domestic Violence in the Media

  1. Pingback: The Battle Of the Browns II: Are Chris and Bobby Brown the only abusers in their relationships? | Love, Life, and Relationships: Overcoming Emotional and Child Sexual Abuse

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