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When we discussed resilience amongst rape victims in class on Monday, the first current event I though of was the Rihanna and Chris Brown relationship. Although she was not a rape victim, Chris Brown had assaulted her in 2009 and they broke up. Despite the dramatic interviews and the graphic pictures released from the incident, Rihanna decided to go back to Chris Brown and rekindle their love for one another.

During class, Robyn Fivush discussed a coping mechanism for rape victims who fight to remember their attacks so they can forget about the incidents. I think back to Rihanna’s situation and wonder if discussing the incident publicly helped her forget about/get over the domestic abuse incident. A lot of the times she talked about how hurt and she was because she never thought someone who loved her could hurt her so badly. However, I’m also torn because she is back in a relationship with him. Was her pain only temporary or did she forget about the incident altogether because she fought to remember it?

Once she got back together with him, the couple “looked” happy with one another, a complete turnaround from the last time we saw them together in public. Something that bothers me is that people are accepting of the rekindled relationship. There have been comments like, “Oh they’ve matured and Chris has learned his lesson,” which I think is true to some extent; however, he abused her. In discussing violence toward women, Abigail Hankin said, “The notion that violence towards women, children, or other human beings can be justified needs to be reconsidered given the enormous health and social costs that violence exacts from victims and societies. Promotion of norms and values in which violence is depicted as illegitimate and irresponsible could be important in creating social contexts that are intolerant of violence and are considerate to its victims.” Many people think their relationship is healthy, but in reality, no one knows if she is truly okay. In relation to what Hankin said, no one is talking about how unhealthy their new relationship could be to their livelihood because of the depressing history between the two. I don’t think Rihanna is being considerate of her mental state and how this could affect her health in the future. In a study about why people stay with abusive partners, research showed people hold on to the positive characteristics of their abusive partners. Some statistics include, “More than half (54 percent) saw their partners as highly dependable, while one in five (21 percent) felt the men in their lives possessed significant positive traits (i.e., being affectionate).” In relation to Rihanna, I think this is why she got back with Chris. The positive traits outweighed the abuse. In my relationships with others, once you do something bad to me, I’ll always remember that before the good memories, which is the opposite for Rihanna. She views Chris Brown in a positive light, which I think is completely wrong. I don’t believe she will ever fully recover from what happened to her because she is still around her attacker. Talking about the situation may help to forget what happened but rekindling romance with your partner will never make sense to me.

Nauert, PhD, Rick. “Why Women Stay in Abusive Relationships.” N.p., 13 Apr. 2010. Web. 29 Apr. 2013.


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