UPDATE: Oprah Winfrey speaks out against domestic violence and leaves a message for Chris Brown and Rihanna. See the CNN video here...

I just finished reading the CNN Post by Lisa Respers on Chris Brown and his career. The article goes into detail about the Chris Brown assault and arrest and how his career is being affected from the fallout.

The point that stood out to me was the thought that parents may not want their impressionable teen daughters listening to a man who is so violent towards women.

I read the warrant affidavit on The Smoking Gun. And to be honest with you, I couldn't read it in its entirety. The beating that Chris Brown put on Rihanna made me want to cry. It was horrible. My heart instantly went out to Rihanna. But more importantly, I prayed for Chris Brown.

Yes, I pray for him because whatever anger and pain that's trapped inside him has the potential to harm more seriously Rihanna again or another woman if not addressed quickly. This pain and anger could ultimately destroy his career if he doesn't deal with it.

An assault, beating, whatever you want to call it, like the one inflicted upon Rihanna from Chris Brown just doesn't go away. In the victim's mind she will forever have bad dreams and flashbacks of what happened each time she is beaten. These images will become a part of her life, a piece that will dictate her future relationships with men if she allows it.

For years I feared men after I left my abusive ex-husband. I feared being in close quarters on a one-on-one basis with a man. I just felt he was going to back-hand me for no reason. I know it wasn't the men whom I dated fault, it was those flashbacks, those images of being choked, punched and thrown across a room that kept haunting me.

Unfortunately, Rihanna will also have this gift of fear as a lifetime present.

Again, this is a perfect time for parents to do some parenting. Talk to your kids about Chris Brown getting arrested and find out what they think about it. Even what their friends are saying. Use this to educate and direct your kids to the right things in life so that behavior from men like this can be prevented.

Here is a quick statistic on domestic abuse violence towards African-Americans:

Overall, African Americans were victimized by intimate partners a significantly higher rates than persons of any other race between 1993 and 1998. Black females experienced intimate partner violence at a rate 35% higher than that of white females, and about 22 times the rate of women of other races. Black males experienced intimate partner violence at a rate about 62% higher than that of white males and about 22 times the rate of men of other races. (American Bar Association -- Commission on Domestic Violence)

The number one killer of African-American women ages 15 to 34 is homicide at the hands of a current or former intimate partner.

Africana Voices Against Violence, Tufts University, Statistics, 2002

Now, here is some startling data concerning abuse in the teenage group:

  • 18-24 year-olds comprised only 11.7% of the population in 1998 and 2002, but were the majority of victims of violence committed by a boyfriend or girlfriend (42%).
    Matthew R. Durose et al., U.S. Dep't of Just., NCJ 207846, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Family Violence Statistics: Including Statistics on Strangers and Acquaintances, at 11 (2005), available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/fvs.pdf
  • Approximately one in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.
    Jay G. Silverman et al., Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality, 286 J. Am. Med. Ass'n 572-579 (2001).
  • In a study of eighth and ninth graders, 25 percent indicated that they had been victims of dating violence, including eight percent who disclosed being sexually abused.
    Vangie A. Foshee et al., The Safe Date Project: Theoretical Basis, Evaluation Design, and Selected Baseline Findings, 12 Am. J. of Preventive Med. 39 (1996).
  • In a survey of 232 high school girls, 17.8% of the participants indicated that they had been forced to engage in sexual activity against their will by a dating partner.
    David R. Jezl, Christian E. Molidor & Tracy L. Wright, Physical, Sexual & Psychological Abuse in High School Dating Relationships: Prevalence Rates and Self-esteem Issues, 13 Child & Adolescent Soc. Work J. 69 (1996).
  • Among female students between the ages of 15-20 who reported at least one violent act during a dating relationship, 24% reported experiencing extremely violent incidents such as rape or the use of weapons against them.
    P.Y. Symons et al., Prevalence and Predictors of Adolescent Dating Violence, 7 J. of Child & Adolescent Pediatric Nursing 14 (1994).

It's out here folks, and its becoming an even bigger problem. Now we know, what are we going to do about it?

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