March 10, 2009

LKL Blog Exclusive: Nicole Brown Simpson's sister on abuse

Posted: 10:49 AM ET


Domestic violence affects not only the victim her/himself, but all the people in that person's life. There are many aspects of domestic violence. However, I believe the most important is to make the community aware of where it ALL starts, and where it CAN end, and that is with emotional abuse.

Domestic violence rarely begins with physical violence. It all begins with constant emails, calls and text messages. They check up on you, criticize, make threats, stalk, harass, intimidate, manipulate and most of all CONTROL you.  All of this makes the victim walk on eggshells. Nothing she does or says is right. Out of exhaustion, fear, guilt and shame she surrenders to the criticisms to keep the peace.

My sister, Nicole, and Rihanna are the famous victims. How about all the other Nicole's and Rihanna's that are out there?  Many people judge Rihanna that she went back. What people don't understand is this is part of the cycle of violence. Women will leave 6 to 8 times before they make the decision to leave for good. Nicole's abuse made people more aware of domestic violence.  Rihanna could be the living Nicole of her generation. I hope one day, when she is ready, that she uses her celebrity to educate young girls and boys that this behavior is unacceptable.

Victims have to be ready on their own time, AND, they should not just pick up and leave. They MUST call a shelter to construct a safety plan. It is very dangerous to just pick up and leave.

Victims can call: 800-799-SAFE.  As for the abusers, there are batterer treatment programs available. One can be found at: ( Help is available to anyone who desires it.

For more on Tanya Brown, please visit .

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Richard   March 10th, 2009 11:26 am ET

I grew up in a household where my parents would fight. It was a very disturbing environment for my Mother and for me. After trying to stop a couple fights (I was little at the time) and witnessing others I made my parents promise not to fight because it was tearing me up. The promise worked for several years until I found them at it one more time. My parents have been together for almost 50 years now, but I cannot say it was (is) the best thing that they are still together. When I was 13 I told my Mom that if she was not happy in her marriage please do not because of me.

I have taken what I saw from my parents as a lesson for myself and my family. I am married and have three children(tow daughters and one son). I have NEVER hit a woman. I have told my daughters that even if a man just threatens them they need to move on. There should never be a reason for violence on either part (the Man or the Woman). If people are at a point where they are physically fighting or even considering it they both need to move on.

One more time "A man should NEVER hit a woman" even if she has hit him first. If he has been hit he needs to leave immediately before things escalate even further. My son will also know hitting a woman is UNACCEPTABLE under any circumstance.

Susana   March 10th, 2009 2:16 pm ET

Rage, anger do not justify a person bad actions; they are slave of anger. These people were fed by hate and resentment, which all these acumulated has turn to rage; all the pain and hate, frustations and fear.
Just like these two "famous young people" now the top news, there are many, many people just like them. They are famous, but they are for me human being; not perfect. Money and fame does not make you role model, or a good example for others. Unless you have learn to know your self and learn how to deal the right way with those past hurting issues, you are just like them.
Homosexual, pedophile, prostitue, druggies, alcholics, porn, and let me not let this one out, racist [whilte supremacy], they are all in the same boat!! Peolple! HELLO! Wake up! jail is not the all solution; they are not getting the medicine they need to HEAL! Hello Again! We need healing! These young people, humans, need time for them. To know and search themselves; to learn deal, to forgive and grow up! Not the judging, and criticism, and be reminded of the wrond he did. Search yourselves too! because the way the lawyers and other famous and other people commeting are handling this case is pitiful, do not have no emotional feeling or neither good judment. Yes, he needs to pay for what he did, but with what? Like he thinks, with money, saying sorry, sending gift, making bargain; because he does not get it yet, he is not heal! He need to learn more about emotional and moral intelligence, and she does too. She is not free of being innocent, I am sure that wasn't the first time that had happen; maybe the first time in this extreme. Many people go on in life with guilty conscience and they can't function right; they never were free and they been dragging it with them. Also shame, they are behind a wall of denial; and they do not want to know. Is time to heal the right way! We need to stop living a lie.

Rose   March 10th, 2009 2:20 pm ET

Well said by Tanya Brown. When abused women stay with their abusers, hoping for the best and not realizing (or accepting) that the abuse will re-occur, they are in fact "taking on" the abuser's issues and problems. A man's aggression and brutality is not for a woman to "fix" or to "stay by" or tolerate. Such a man has major problems.

WIth counselling and gaining self-esteem, abused women will hopefully find the strength to let go of a very scary situation and get out. But they must realize this themselves first. The issue is when? Before or after the next beating – or potential death.

Nicole Siddall   March 10th, 2009 2:22 pm ET

I was in a verbally and physically abusive relationship when I was 19. It began with possessiveness, he kept me from my friends, made me wear baggy clothes, and even made me look down when in public, so no other guy could look at me. He then started to hit me, and on the last day, came at me with a knife. I locked myself in a closet and called 911. I am one of the lucky ones. I got out alive with the help of some amazing, brave friends. These relationships are roller-coaster rides of guilt, shame and unhealthy "love." Looking back, I can't believe I let him do that to me. I can only hope to use my experience to guide my two girls, and to help any teenager/woman who is at risk of abuse (we all are).

Yours in hope and healing,
Nicole from Michigan

Maxine   March 10th, 2009 3:01 pm ET

No woman or man should be anyone beating stick or a door mat,because if you are going to be outrage because of some text message,then something is wrong, get out of the relationship,lick your wound and keep on living,life is about being in charge of your own destiny and your own life,don't run into thing so fast,date a little,have fun, and see what else is waiting for you,you are young,stop and smell the roses,enjoy life because someone good is waiting for you.Life is for the living not for the broken heart make the right decission before you career end,you both have mending to do with your lives

robin albright   March 10th, 2009 3:12 pm ET

when my daughter decided that she didnt want such a serious relationship with her boyfriend and tried to break it off, he became angry and hit my daughter. we went to the police and filed charges because it was not acceptable. she said it only happened once but she never looked back after that incident. in my opinion, she dodged a big bullet, because i feel he would do it again. there is never a reason to put your hands on another person. i instilled that in her from a early age and thank God she listened.

garrick   March 10th, 2009 3:33 pm ET

hi larry
women arent the only one being abused in relationships,i wish you would make that clear,I was in a relationship and my wife abused me but for my son sake and my values i tried to stay for 3yrs until the judge made me leave after having to go to men also get abused but everyone just called that you have a strong independent woman,thats bull,everyone knows alot of black women dont take crap off no one and alot of times thats how they abuse a man.

Ellen   March 10th, 2009 3:58 pm ET

Abuse is not gender specific, but predominantly directed at women by their male partners. Early warning signs are easily 'rationalized' and missed. We want to please the ones we love and love is based on trust. If faced with verbal expressions of inadequacy we strive to please & look at our own imperfections, not the abuse of the person we are commited to making happy. This is the insideous beginning. The abuse escalates. It throws you off balance. You begin to mistrust yourself – NOT THE ABUSER. You fail to see how much time and attention is given to 'surviving' in your relationship. You are now isolated. You get it & there is great shame. Physical abuse begins. Leaving is dangerous. Paper doesn't stop bullets!

Kelli from Tampa   March 10th, 2009 4:11 pm ET

Although domestic violence is present in all socioeconomic groups many poor women are forced to stay for economic reasons (and in our current economy there will be more women forced to stay). There are more animal shelters in the US than there are shelters for battered women and children.
That being said, it starts with a wicked little term called "Gaslighting".
(if you do not know what this is watch the old movie with Ingrid Bergman). Just as Nicole's sister has referred to, it renders the abused completely helpless, and thinking she (or he – but mostly this happens to women) IS crazy. Please watch this film if you do not understand. It ALWAYS starts with mental/emotional and spiritual abuse and then moves into the physical abuse. Add to that that there is no safe place for the women and children to go...and they become homeless. I have worked with these women for many years.
Thanks for your advocacy Tanya...for all the women as you say are not famous and have no voice.

Donna Tooley   March 10th, 2009 4:13 pm ET

I just wanted to say that I have been in an abusive relationship once. I understand why women stay, and that is because we always have HOPE, hope he will change, hope I will change to make things better, but the bottom line is always hope. Women want to take care and help, so we hope we can.

CA Smith   March 10th, 2009 4:21 pm ET

Dear Larry;
Being married for 16 years and the abusive relationship progressively escalates (sometimes), I have now come to my full sences. No the abuse does not stop ever !!, it will only STOP when you make it stop.
The matter that has kept me where I am today is the financial status.
There is absolutly no venue or resource to help people financially which is one of the major issuse that will also keep other women where they are today.
If the governments can hand out funds to the Financial Corps, then they can HELP create a financial safe haven for women.

JIM CARROLL INTERNET FREE PRESS   March 10th, 2009 5:18 pm ET

RECESSION is a product of the blatant ignorance of the President, Congress, Economists, and the News Media who do not understand Nature's Basic Law of Economics, and Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution.

Nature’s Basic Law of Economics states: All goods and services flow from the action of people resources on natural resources— Money is the medium of exchange which should be equal to the value of the goods and services—and not to a gold standard or some other insane idea.


Article 1, Section 8

The congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, impost and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States; etc...

Mr. President, we need to help the governors of each state balance their budgets. They do not have the Constitutional power to create money like the Federal Government does (article 1, section 8, of the Constitution). You will save a lot of jobs and fuel the economy more by this than by giving money to the banks. The Federal Government has the responsibility to make sure there is enough money so every entity can have a balanced budget.

MR. PRESIDENT, now that you have the stimulus –ask businesses to do their part by lowering all their prices by at least 1%.
Stop the negative talk. Keep encouraging people to start buying and spending.
INFLATION IS A EUPHEMISM FOR THEFT. It will change the ratio of money to the goods and services being exchanged. MR. PRESIDENT, DON”T LET BIG OIL AND BIG BUSINESS RUN OVER YOU WITH A PRICE MARKER. They did it to President Carter.

THE GREATEST DANGER FACING AMERICA TODAY IS THE MINDSET THAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS ABOUT MONEY. They have not read Article 1, section 8, of the Constitution which gives the Federal Government the power to create money equivalent to the value of the goods and services the American people produce. The lack of money is the cause of this recession.

The ignorance of people like Lou Dobbs (a Republican who is ashamed to be called one), and people like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reily, Hannity’s America (not a place I would like to live), and Glen Beck (who have no shame) is overwhelming the ideas that cause economic problems, and then they try to prevent problems from being solved by feeding their ignorant ideas to the Republicans.

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT BORROW ONE PENNY TO PAY FOR THE STIMULUS PLAN. The Constitution, Article 1, section 8, gives the Federal Government the right to create the money. The only question that needs to be asked: Are there people resources and natural resources available? And the answer is yes. Money is the medium of exchange. Goods and services have the real value.

KL   March 10th, 2009 5:23 pm ET

I was a victim of domestic violence, and my advise for Rihanna is to get out before its to late! While dating my now ex-husband he came off as the typical nice guy, and one week before we married he shoved me, he apolgized and I accepted it. I NOW KNOW THAT WAS THE SIGN NOT TO MARRY HIM, but I did anyway.

I was physically hit multiples times throughout the marriage over 7 years, including while pregnant with our three children. I eventually did leave and divorced him, however the mental effects had never ended. He harassed me for several years after our divorced and one day we got into an argument, that led to an altercation where I thought he was going to hit me, so I got to him first by cutting him with a pocket-knife out of fear that he was going to hurt me again and in the process I lost everything...from my career on! Although I called the police, filed protection order against him, I NEVER HAD HIM PROSCECUTED WHEN HE HURT ME, but when the time came...he had no problem seeing to it that I got locked up and proscecuted even though he knew my reaction was to what he did to me over years, and he never took into consideration that I had his kids to still take care of.

Because I made the mistake of going back to a man who abused me for years, and finally took back charge of my life of my abuser, the script was changed and he became the victim because I left him off of the hook years before.

So Rihanna, don't be no fool, like I was! Good luck and God Bless.

K. L.

Alex   March 10th, 2009 5:36 pm ET

Dear Larry,
I am glad you are highlighting this social problem – domestic violence in our communities.

I hope you"ll find more time to enlight your Single viewers. Every single needs to learn that dating and falling in love basing on a 50/50 guess with a plan to break up is a self-sabotaging shortcut that usually leads to domestic violence.

Fact is: these 16 common habits that cause unacceptable risks to a relationship are all visible on a 1st or 2nd date. You can help your single viewers to increase awareness of this new concept for success in dating and matching – it's called skillful dating. Skillful dating will make divorce and domestic violence plagues of the past.

Kelli from Tampa   March 10th, 2009 5:56 pm ET

Alex- the problem with your idea is that MOST abusers do not show their violent side on the first or second date. In fact most can hide these tendencies until they are married. They are like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and are EXTREMELY charming and manipulative...there is a BIG difference in divorce and domestic violence.

hugh ~ california   March 10th, 2009 6:00 pm ET

Why do you continually write about a subject that has nothing to do with the general topic of discussion? We all digress on occasion, but give it a rest.

This blog is about battered women, not the economic recession.

Kelli from Tampa   March 10th, 2009 6:01 pm ET

Thanks hugh as always you said what I was thinking!

hugh ~ california   March 10th, 2009 6:05 pm ET

You're quite welcome Kelli from Tampa!

John   March 10th, 2009 6:38 pm ET

To Hugh california and Kelli from Tampa – Thanks! I also had the same reaction to this guy that imagines himself to represent some sore of a free press. The subject is domestic abuse and I also prefer to stick to the subject.

Again, there is no excuse for hitting a woman or even using mental abuse against her. I did not bring my daughter into this world for some idiot to think he owns her and has a right to do anything he wants with her. Men like this do not love their partner but consider them a necessary part of their own self image. If they do not have a partner and do not control her, then they are somehow in their minds less of a man. Women have to have a better feeling of self and not get into the mindset that if you cannot please this man, than you cannot find any man. I take every opportunity I can to influence my two granddaughters of what to look for and that first and formost, they must educate themselves and be able to stand alone if they must. Please ladies! Do not allow any man to possess you. Love you yes! Want to be with you yes! But possess and physically threaten you, NEVER!

Kelli from Tampa   March 10th, 2009 7:11 pm ET

My hat is off to you John, not many men come out to stand with these victims. And you keep telling those granddaughters what you are telling them...they need to hear that from not only women but men too.

albert   March 10th, 2009 8:21 pm ET

saddened that Nicole Brown S. stayed. is he in jail now? OJ that is ?

louis   March 10th, 2009 8:22 pm ET

looking forward to Joy Behar tonight but will miss L King.

midstate   March 10th, 2009 8:53 pm ET

why does it take someone famous to bring this travisty to light. In a couple of months most people will forget about it until someone else famous gets in the news for abuse. That is not right. It happens everyday They get off to easy.

midstate   March 10th, 2009 9:01 pm ET

Everyone seem to believe that nobody can change an abusive behavior. WRONG, Not trying to get religious on you but With God's help he can change us inside so to stop that or any kind of behavior we have. So I disagree with the statement that people cant change their behavior.

JB in Mpls   March 10th, 2009 9:05 pm ET

If only Rihanna was listening tonight she might realize a few things. Having been in such a relationship 20+ years ago, it is absolutely true, a man who hits a woman, will do it again! And, each episode of abuse gets worse.

Jack, Long Island, NY   March 10th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

You won't stop domestic violence until you call it what it really is: Assault and Battery! Change the name of the crime!

Kelli from Tampa   March 10th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

You are right Jack, that is exactly what it is assault and battery.

Demetrius   March 10th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

Men can also be abused through domestic violence! Their is not a understanding about a relationship under God's law and setting a foundation. There also needs to be a resolution on how women should learn not to provoke men or even get in their face. Some women take advantage of the system, knowing that a situation like this, will be on their side.

Jon Snow   March 10th, 2009 9:30 pm ET

I am an ENT physician.. last week took care of a 16 y.o. Black female who was hit by her boyfriend fracturing her nose.. requiring surgery to straighten.. she thought it funny – 'cool' .. was what was happening.. a real problem that needs to be aggressivley addressed..


Steve Perzan -Philadelphia.,PA   March 10th, 2009 9:33 pm ET

Larry, Do people who find themselves in a domestically violvent relationship tend to leave one for another? Is domestic violence greater in first marriage then in a second or third marriage? Is doemstic violence greater or lesser in legal marriages or "live in" relationships?

Shannon from Kansas   March 10th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

Albert- Nicole didn't stay. Ultimately she filed an order of protection and was divorced from OJ when he killed her.

Thank you ladies for the wonderful show.

I wish we didn't rush to ask why the woman stays(ed) why aren't we asking why are these perpetrators beating up another person they claim to "love".

Lisa   March 10th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

When I was in my first two years of college I was an abused woman. I came from a difficult background, saw violence against women regularly.

I called, I called! The local abuse agency came to my rescue. I was so blessed to stay in the 'safe house' where I met social workers, counselor, and began therapy.

I saw women continutally believe the 'I'm sorry, I won't do it again stage and go back. For whatever reason I stayed in the house, I left my abuser and go figure....I graduated from UNLV, Las Vegas and began working for the State of Nevada as a Social Worker.

I wish I could say this issue never hit my life again, but it did. I stopped it the minute it began and sought help again.

I am now retired...46 years of age..yep! and living with the most gentle, soft spoken man. I believe he is the gift for the work I did.

Now we are going to be foster parents....crazy but here I am....Alive, well, and willing to help.

Thank you Joy, you are a handful of fun and people say I look just like you. I consider this a compliment.


Alex   March 10th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

My mom died on Christmas day after being beaten up by my dad. The abuse my mom suffered at the hands of my dad damaged me for life. Its sad that society is not outraged and speaking up very strongly against domestic violence. To all the women who are going through this, my message to you is simple leave and dont look back

Mike   March 10th, 2009 9:42 pm ET

Chris Brown is totally totally wrong to hit Rihanna, I have been a victim of domestic violence as well as an accused abuser. There is a huge misunderstanding about women and men which is not being revealed. There are a many women who inflct mental and physical injury to men because the society allways view men as abuser and men do not complain about what women does to them. Please do not get me wrong, I am totally against men abusing women and I would like to see some focus on what the women does to trigger abuse by their men. Please look at both sides of the coin, many men are victims of mental and physica cruelty by women and they fall in the trap by their physical response. Both men and women needs counselling, I have learned to run if my wife is upset run run run. Men are stronger and must run because women can hurt their men with words and physical abuse. It is terrible for both men and women. It is best for a man to live in the corner of a roof top than in a house with a quarrelsome woman"" The Bible.

Fran   March 10th, 2009 9:43 pm ET

What happened to Rihanna gave me literal nightmares. I went through hell for years at the hands of a POLICEMAN, who everyone else thought was such a nice guy! He even hit my 14 y.o. son with his fist when he felt threatened by him!!!!!!! Men get off too easily from this CRIME and that's why we're afraid to prosecute. BTW, he wasn't just a policeman, he was my husband.

Karen   March 10th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

I am a Family Law practitioner and well understand the horror and gravity of domestic violence. I have represented women . . . and men! What I find interesting is the sort of built in assumption that only women are victimes of domestic violence (I have had male clients turned away from getting Protection from Abuse orders); that women are incapable of creating a situation wherein violence occurs and then being complicit in its escalation. When it happens that they are injured as a result then it becomes a reason for them to get a PFA. Again I do not minimize the damage of physical violence against women (psychically and physically). I just hope that there is an openness to the intricacies of abuse and the fact that it happens to men as well. As for Rihanna and Chris Brown, we don't know what happened and he is innocent until proven guilty (as ugly and repugnant as that Constitutional protection might be). He is innocent . . . until proven guilty. An "I'm sorry" does not quallify as an admission of guilt.

Janice   March 10th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

Domestic Violence is not just limited to one sex. The abuser can be female as well as male. The males have more of a code of silence. This is an issue that has been behind closed doors much to long. It saddens me that we only converse about Domestic Violence when it involves a Celebrity or a well known house hold name. I wish more males would step forward, not just the female victims . The male I knew stated he was trying to keep his family (Children) together. He kept his silence and after several years his marriage still failed.

Linda King   March 10th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

My daughter, Lisa, was a victim for 9 years. She died at the hands of her abuser Sept 1, 2001. She was 28 yrs old. We work everyday to end domestic violence. Go judge Pirro. You are our hero.

Shannon from Kansas   March 10th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

Why are we talking about is why...

65%-90% of victims are WOMEN.

That doesn't mean that there are not abusive women. Of course there are. If we would just call it assault there would be no need to worry about gender correct?

Call it what it is.

And the quarrelsome woman...seriously? Quarrelsome is very different than terrifyingly abusive. I don't care how much a 100 lb woman quarrels with her heavy weight champion husband, he should not threaten her and bash her head in. Quarrelsome is QUITE different than ABUSIVE.

Charlotte Rogers   March 10th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

I am not known to much with my name and never want to be but
there are a lot of people that can figure me out or who I am.
I am a Canadian citizen that has gone through a lot of abuse in life however there are many people that have gone through a lot of abuse and many people suffer.

I have never liked one singer or actor too much in life.
I only ever thought about a Micheal Jackson if he tried to raise money for sick kids and he helped them not to die and if he has seen a lot of doctors in life.

I have no idea if he has been a bad man or if any of the actors or singers are criminals at times but I just enjoy seeing a good movie.

There are no actors or singers I would ever think badly about or would never hunt down or stalk because I am not going to ever physically harm them in any way. I do not believe in any violence except for self defence.

I have to get back into reading some good books and I look forward to seeing some great news stories on Cnn forever.
My english I have to work at however I have had a lot of head trauma and a lot of abuse in life
Sorry if this was hard to understand and my punctuation and wording may be off but I am always tired.
It is hard to keep informed and knowledgable

Iris from L.A.   March 10th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

Kelli is right of course that the abusive side does not appear in the courting phase...The charmer needs to be present to capture his prey as it were. But I can totally remember the first dates and how I kept having this "gut feeling" that something wasn't quite right with him..and then..because he was so charming and attentive.,,and "into me" and loving...I just sluffed it off as a figment of my imagination..

There ARE signs... right at the start. And ONE of them is that he quickly escalates the relationship. Another is that the conversations you have at dinner or when out are about you..your family and your friends and your past relationships. The amount of information he gives about his 'past" is very limited. OR ELSE he badmouths all his ex'es..No one was good.

Our second date I laughed when he commented on the capri pants I was wearing and asked " couldn't you afford pants that went all the way down to your ankles?".. I thought it was a joke. IT was a SIGN of things to come when he'd want to take control of how I dressed or wore my hair or even what color it was.

As Denise and Robin said on the show. This subject of Abuse needs to be out there each and every day and incorporated into educational programs in schools as well.

Steve Perzan -Philadelphia.,PA   March 10th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

The term "spouse" - does that include people who are legally married or simply in a relationship? From my own experience – while abuse can happen in all types of spousal relationships - it happens to a greater percentage in relationships that are between two people committed to each other in a "marriage relationship" then in a "non-married relationship." Let's teach our young people what a real relationship is - that will help.

Mike   March 10th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

Women's physical and mental abuse are not evident in our society because men do not complain. The problem is men are stronger and tries to control every situation that occurs. For years I was mentally and physically abused by my wife and our marriage ended when she finally attacked me and a friend in public and got arrested. She was so convinced that I would be arrested after what she did, she went calling for somebody to call the police and the world got to see what goes on behind closed doors. Dr. Stan is right men was made up as the dominant sex as history shows and many women of today are demontrating independence and disrespect for their men.

As a result of the latter many men are avoiding comittments to women, Please women and men control yourselves pray pray and avoid mental and physical abuse to each other. Men run run run when she gets angry and women you know you have the power to make your men wanting, please use it positively.

John   March 10th, 2009 10:05 pm ET

For the gentleman who suggests that abusers can be rehabilitated. Fine, maybe you are right. But what do you suggest we do about the victim. Should we leave the victim to his or her own devices until such time as the abuser may be rehabilitated? I'm sorry but if the abuser is unable to tell the difference between right and wrong, then isolate them to prison where they can discuss their rehabilitation with their fellow inmates.

Alison Carnie   March 10th, 2009 10:05 pm ET

I was married to a batterer from 1977-1989, two days after I threw him out, he accosted me in front of my work place as said "I will take away the children, the house, your family cottage and I will squeeze you like a pimple. You had better watch over your shoulder the rest of your life because I will be there." The police didn't take me seriously ... "it wasn't that bad" was their reply ... I had no family ... I was alone.

I thought the worst was being married to this man ... it hadn't even begun.

He abandoned his responsibility to our two young children, left Canada and moved back to the US to live with his mother, I lost 60 pounds, got into therapy as a battered woman and started one of the best universities in Canada at 44 (I had been a high school dropout ) ... I had scholarships and welfare (he didn't pay his child support). He would verbally terrorize me on the phone and was taken out of an art history class with chest pains and put in the cardiac wing of the local hospital; I got a restraining order and he wasn't allowed on my property or to phone me. He couldn't physically, verbally, emotionally or financially terrorize me anymore ... he tturned his attention to getting our children away as he knew that would destroy me.

After my children moved out, I lost my welfare and my home had to be sold ... I was suicidal and ended up in the psych ward for four days with "situational depression" ... two days after each trip to the hospital, I was back at university .... If he was going to kill me, it would be with my backpack on.

In 1997, the day after I finished my BA (with a B+ average) at 50, I disappeared to Chicago ... no one knew where I was for eighteen months. My son eventually came to live with me and was physically, verbally and emotionally abusive ... I ended up in a psych ward again ... my son had turned into his father. I threw him out.

At 62, I still live, deleriously happy, in Chicago ... I have fabulous friends, a wonderful retail job and love my life ...

Albeit, this man saw to it I lost every cent I inherited, my home, my children (with whom I am still estranged after 14 years) and my car he won nothing ... when OJ got sent, finally, to prison, it was closure for me ... a batterer finally got held accountable ... that was enough.

I am a flourisher ... not a survivor!!!!!

Laurie   March 10th, 2009 10:05 pm ET

I am a survivor of domestic violence,which occured for ten years.I was young[19] when it started and didn't know any better,as Robin said you don't fight and that's how I viewed it.I had a five year old son when I left and he never seen anything.The scars that he has are visible emotionally.I moved on with my life and married and I don't ever want to look back.I also can see the pain in Robins eyes as she speaks.Leaving was very hard for me because of my son, knowing how he would grow up without a father but I guess I done the best thing I could ever do for HIM.

Mike   March 10th, 2009 10:22 pm ET

Men and women need to learn the basic personalities and charcteristics of each other before committing to each other. I have learned the secret of the basic me and others born during different times of the year. I now live alone with my son and will carefully seek my future partner, and knows the type of person she is. A noble woman. I think the same applies to women. A noble man.

Let's pray for Chris and Rihanna, may they receive counselling, the court and prison will not solve the problems of domestic violence.

Blessings to all.

Brenda Cordero   March 10th, 2009 10:23 pm ET

I don't think it"s fair to the women and families who are or have been victims of abuse to have to have to go into hiding and rearrange their lives .When it should be the abuser that needs to be held accountable.They need to be put away where they can't hurt anyone else.Their "I'm Sorry doesn't bring back our loved ones and it doesn't erase what they have done.The one thing that gets to me is no one deserve to get hit.It's one thing when awoman gets hit but when someone less than man more like coward thinks it's o.k. to hit your daughter. We need to stand to together and pass a law that will make the abuser think about the consequences. How would they feel if it were their Loved one on the receiving end not that it's o.k.

Karen   March 10th, 2009 10:29 pm ET

I am SO glad that this topic has come to light in the past 20 years or so. I grew up in a house where I was constantly abused sexually, physically, and emotionally by my stepfather. He always said he could do what he wanted as long as I was under his roof. He was right, too! I called the cops on him one night after he beat the daylights out of me. However they said they could not prosecute because I fought back. I was 16 and around 120 pounds, and he was around 300 pounds. It didn't seem to matter that I was trying to protect myself. I say WAKE UP PEOPLE! Don't accept abuse. There are laws to protect you; take advantage of them.

Richard   March 10th, 2009 10:34 pm ET

I grew up in a home of domestic violence. The abuser in my home was my mother. My father came home after a hard days work and had a few drinks which usually left him in a condition unable to defend his self from my mother when she would begin with emotional terrorism towards my father.

Once, I watched her beat him to the floor with a cast iron fire poker. When she finished beating him to the point of near nconsciousness She called the police. They came and arrested my father! I was completely shocked!

A few years later, I watched my mother attempt to shoot my father in the my sister's bedroom. He avoided getting shot by slamming the bedroom door to distort her aim. Some one called the police again. I can't remember who. But, again it was my father who went to jail even though he had done nothing wrong.

Then again, a few years later she had him face down in the front yard with a hand gun at the back of his neck. She tried to shoot him, but fortunately the safety was on. As she attempted to turn the safety off, I jumped on her and my sister took the gun away from her. This time the police took both of them to jail and left US ALONE at home. The next morning she came back but not my dad.

These gender-biased domestic laws are the result of the U.S. Government offering funds to protect women and NOT MEN. Eventually, this has got to change.

Did anyone notice that in all these TV shows not a single man of domestic violence is allowed to tell his story? Do you know why? It is because of gender-biased domestic violence funding. FEMINIST groups can spend the gender-biased funding they receive from the U.S. Government to promote their cause by buying air time with the money. In fact, the U.S. Government supports it. Everyone needs to read the VAWA summary for 2005 to see how FEMINISTS have cornered the market on domestic violenc.

Kim   March 10th, 2009 10:46 pm ET

Physical violence in any form is unacceptable. I don't understand the debate that has ensued after the incident with Rihanna and Chris Brown. It doesn't matter who sent who a text message, or what was said, Chris Brown should never have let his anger esculate to physical violence against another person, especially someone who he was reportedly in a romantic relationship with. He made a choice when he got angry to hit Rihanna, he could have chosen to walk away, cool off and they could have continued their conversation later. It's all about choices and consequences. He made a choice and now he has to be accountable for the consequences. He can now be mature enough to take accountability for his behavior and learn how to respond and communicate in a non-threatening way. Rihanna needs to open her eyes and face reality that she's in a relationship with a emotionally disabled man who needs to grow up. Until he learns to not react to his anger, she's in danger of losing her life. There may not be time to call someone the next time, and the police may not arrive in time to intervene. My ex used to get frustrated when he couldn't deal with stress, and he would put his fist through the drywall. He was young and handsome, and we thought it was a phase he would outgrow. Later in his life, he married and as a result of an impending end to their relationship, he murdered her and instead of taking responsibility for his actions, he decided to kill himself. Tragic ending to two people's lives. If only different decisions would have been made.

yolanda   March 10th, 2009 10:50 pm ET

Woman was made from the rib of man, She was not created from his head, to top him,Nor from his feet, to be stepped upon, She was made from his side, to be equal to him, From beneath his arm, to be protected by him, Near his heart, to be loved by him.

anono   March 10th, 2009 11:21 pm ET

suprised no one mentioned the fact that some spouses call in fraudulent claims... I am a man and was phically abused (beat) two days in a row ( for 10min & 20min) left for my parents house but went back to her( she never saw any remorse).....about 6mos later after an argument I left for good ... I was legitmately harrassed for 3 mos untill she filled a fraudulent claim of aggravated harrassment ( via phone) and was arressted and am presently fighting the charge in the judicial system ... Simply put I was not on the phone with her and was told the police have a must arrest policy on such claims ..... please someone address this type of problem!!!!!!

Mike   March 10th, 2009 11:21 pm ET

Women are to be submissive to their husbands and husbands are to love thier wives as how Christ loved the Church (He died for the Church) Women being submissive does not mean men should take advantage of them. I have learned that there is no woman to love if you abuse her. A man who abuse a woman abuses himself, she is a part of man and was made for man.

Unfortunately as it was in the begining, many women are easily led as Eve was led to influence Adam. Many many women today are not being submissive and secretly mentally and physically abuse their men to the extent that the weakminded man retaliates. Its very hard on both sides, men needs to learn how about women behaviors.

Men and women who are outright abusers need serious monitored counselling, not jail and the courts, mediators and counsellors.

There is a trigger that cause violence, find it. Many men and women know it, unfortunately there is no focus on the nucleus only on the physical results.

I could share many of the details that abused both men and women in domestic violence.

Let"s pray for peace, love, and harmony between all men and women being challenged.


Kim   March 10th, 2009 11:49 pm ET

Men need to be mature and strong before entering into a relationship with a woman. If he cannot control his bodily functions, he should stay single, and take care of his emotional issues. That way he will will only have himself to retaliate against if he doesn't do the work necessary to grow up. When he has accomplished this, he will be ready to enter into a mature, loving, responsible relationship and no matter what a woman says or does, he can make a mature responsible strong decision to walk away if he feels weakminded.

Peace, love and harmony is a beautiful thing to pray for.


edward   March 11th, 2009 12:11 am ET

Chris and Rihanna are having problems and its no-ones business but theirs. rihanna if you want to forgive him or file charges, do it because thats what you want to do, the media and oprah don't give a damn about you, ITS THE RATINGS. The media has become the judge, jury and executioner,and thats so sad, just report the news and allow me think what i want to think. Rihanna, with god, the fans that love you and the ones that has ever care about your music will always be there and thats all you need.

Laurie Moore   March 11th, 2009 12:33 am ET

I was in a domestic violence relationship for 9 years and have a scar up my back for the rest of my life where my batter beat me for 3 hours. I started a nonprofit organization 6 years ago called Looking for My Sister and we work with victims for 18 months to help them stay out of the abusive relationship here in Detroit. Last year there were 68,113 REPORTED cases of domestic violence in the city of Detroit and we only have ONE emergency shelter with 67 beds, but the average woman who comes to the shelter has 3-4 kids thus there is only room for 13 women to get help for 60 days!!! We need to get this message to america HELP!!!

Laurie Moore   March 11th, 2009 12:35 am ET

I am sorry Edward but you are missing the message would you feel the same way if this was your sister? mother? niece? best friend? The reason is because it hasn't affected anyone YOU love!

Meghan   March 11th, 2009 12:46 am ET

When I was younger, my parents fought a lot. They divorced when I was 5 and my mother always made sure to make it a point to teach my sisters and I that it was totally UNEXCEPTABLE for a man to put his hands on us. Growing up, I would see women in my neighborhood, including my older sister, allow their boyfriends to hit them and I always said that I would never let a man put his hands on me.

Well I am 20 now. When I was 16 I met this guy and we instantly hit it off. We were together for a total of three years. The first year that we were together, everything was perfect and I loved him so much. We were so happy and so in love. And most of all, he NEVER was violent and NEVER showed any signs of violence. In the second year of our relationship, we started arguing more and he started putting me down. He used to say the most hurtful things to me and would make me feel so little. He made my self esteem drop dramatically and I felt that no one else would want me. The third year things got real bad. He started beating me severly but never hit me in my face so that I could always cover the marks and bruises. I never told anyone about the abuse because I felt like people would be mad at me and judge me. I especially made sure my mom never found out because I knew she would be greatly disappointed me. I tried to deal with with the issue by myself. I always thought that maybe things would go back to the way they used to be when we were happy. Then one day reality hit me and I realized that things were never going to get better. I finally left him for good and I am glad I did. No one deserves to be treated like that.

My situation has made me a much stronger person and I NEVER want to go through that again. And I don't want anyone to go through it. I understand completely what Rihanna is thinking. Chris is telling her things will get better and she loves him so she wants to believe him. But take it from me, what he says will happen and what will ACTUALLY happen are very different. I just hope that Rihanna gets out before it is too late.

And I do not care what Rihanna said to him. There is nothing she can say that would justify beating her. I feel for her and my prayers go out to her. But I am also going to pray for Chris because he does need some serious help and I hope that eventually he can become a REAL man and learn that putting his hands on a woman is just not going to be accepted.

Linda   March 11th, 2009 12:49 am ET

My daughter is going through this right now. In January, her husband threw the phone at her and busted her head and she had to get three stitches. He is also very verbally abusive. They have one small child. I have talked to her until I can't even stand to hear myself anymore. She is going to a counselor and she tells her to leave him. She feels it is her fault for all this. He doesn't live with her right now but is begging to come back. It is so hard to be a mother in this type of situation. She is the only one that can have a ppo against him. His mother was abused by many men and I do believe that is why he has such a bad temper. I am scared to death in Detroit. I don't want my daughter hurt again.

sani   March 11th, 2009 12:52 am ET

the show was very biased against men, which is the norm. i was abused by a lady who i didnt want to see any longer and in the end, she filed a fraudulent domestic violence case against me. who was the victim here. i was. but i ended up in jail for 2 days when i was clearly innocent. the lady sent a letter to the district attorney that she lied. the coerced her to continue with the case which she refused. trust me, if men want to retaliatory and file reports against lady, then we will see who the real victims are

bekki   March 11th, 2009 12:57 am ET

Domestic violence impacts every aspect of life...every aspect of life. From birth through college I experienced and witnessed extreme violence inside the walls of our home. Outside of these walls, I was sexually molested by a cousin and uncle for years; the perpetrators and myself were the only ones who knew. Of all those horrific moments, witnessing my father hurt my mother was, and still is, the most painful of memories. Thirty-eight years have passed and I can still vividly describe the room, carpet, walls, chairs, curtains, and the surrounding space. It doesn't go always remember.

Clayton   March 11th, 2009 12:59 am ET

Ms. Givens should not be the spokes woman for domestic abuse sorry. I mean come on.
Chris should stand up and accept his punishment with public announcement to his young fans explaining the non acceptable behavoir and his intent to face the consequences of such a deplorable act. Hitting anyone is a crime. Beating on a women is just entolerable. What he did is not just considered simply an anger out burst but, as Dr. Katz said this is a emotional instability. There is not much a woman that small could do to cause a man to beat and bit her. She needs to get out.

Emily   March 11th, 2009 1:15 am ET

Laurie, I hear you! There is help in every state for victims of domestic violence BUT not enough! I work with victims of domestic violence and am forced to turn away at least 20 families a month from our shelter!

bonnie fercho   March 11th, 2009 1:15 am ET

People do not realize how difficult it is for the abuser to recover. I am a victim of abuse from an addict. As part of my treatment I discovered that unless the addict goes to regular AA meetings or therapy, they can only get worse.

bonnie fercho   March 11th, 2009 1:22 am ET

I forgot to mention in my previous blog that violence is a symptom of the addictive personality.

Ann - Mississippi   March 11th, 2009 1:26 am ET

After 23 years of physicial, emotional, and verbal abuse, I can assure Rihanna, he will hit you again!!!..

It was not until my 8 year old son was hit did I find the courage to leave my abuser for good. I have been out of the relationship for 15 years now and I still get that sinking feeling inside if I hear his voice. His words still ring in my ears and I still have nightmares.

We do not need to think of this as domestic violence,, We need to call it what it is.. Assault & Battery. If a man beat another man it would be assault..

Bossco   March 11th, 2009 2:43 am ET



Just because men often do not report the abuse that their significant other levels on them doesn't mean it doesn't exist.


How do I know? Because it has happened to me – more than once!

Yes, I realize that there are crazy and violent men in this world, but does that mean only men abuse?





I have an idea: Let's have a reality TV show where the premiss is the audience can vote and be the judge of who is the abuser – the man or the woman. Have you ever watched wife swap? Is the man always the one at fault?!

I don't think so

Gabriella   March 11th, 2009 3:37 am ET

I was watching your show and I think that it's sort of upsetting that domestic violence is now being talked about now when it happens to women everday. My closest reletive was in an abousive relationship it lasted a very long but not only did it affect her but it affected her daughter my mom and me because it made me think that every man was like that when that's not true. This topic should be taught everyday. In high school I was part of a program which took a group of teens who after school would learn about domestic abuse, we take that knowledge and we would go to local high schools to let teens know that they too can be in an abousive relationship and to see the signs and show them that they can leave that person before it's too late.

Andrea   March 11th, 2009 3:43 am ET

Wow! This has brought up so much that I thought that I had forgotten but now I see that I CANNOT be silent about this anymore. Robin Givens and Nicole Brown Simpsons comments just literally make me cry at this moment. My ex husband would make me feel bad and tell me that I was stupid and that he was the best thing that happened to me and I would want him back. Now before him, there were two others and I left them and it was not hard to leave at the point with the exception of the person that threatened to kill me while I lay on the floor in the living room and he was goingh to crush my head with his combat boots. Now when I was married I had a child and really thought to myelf that I would just kill myself and make arrangements for my mother and my daughters god parents to pick her up so that I would be dead by the time they came and would call two people just in case one did not show up. My life was so miserable but now I am free and the memory of it all haunts me. I have tried to allow others in my life but I can see the signs of domestic violence in them and I just cannot allow them to enter my heart because I am a prize and those that want the prize will have to earn the prize. Sorry but I must go... I am just sick about this. Rihanna please go away, he already told you that he was going to kill you on that night. It was not a joke it was a WARNING, RUN

Lynn   March 11th, 2009 3:45 am ET

I met a wonderful funny talented smooth( Luther type voice )singer in Hawaii. He was originally from Chicago and sings in a group entertaining tourists and everyone thinks he is a wonderful person with so much charisma and charms the tourists that one would never believe the abuse I took for 6 years...
I was too embarrassed to tell anyone and thought we were soul mates until the first beating.. then I began to wonder what I was doing with this person...He got down on his knees and begged my forgiveness and even went as far as telling me he would kill himself.
I live in Canada and he lives in Hawaii so we would see each other at least 3 or 4 times per month..... He would call me in Canada and say he slit his wrists and would drop the phone ... I would just panic thinking he was dead ,... I finally told a friend and she said it is a ploy to get me back....
I found myself in love and wanted to make it work.... but then he started accusing me of cheating on him... Him this man who had a voice like Luther and woman always approaching him on stage .... accusing me of cheating...??? He started telling me my clothing was just to attract other men....(In Hawaii one does wear light clothing).
He made me feel ugly, insecure and I finally had enough and just stopped accepting his calls although he threatened to come to Canada if I don't respond.....
I just stopped..........I cannot believe I wasted 6 years of my life on him.
The final straw was when he threw me down on the streets in Waikiki and the police came to my rescue but I did not lay charges..... (so dumb), but he did it in front of my children.( I am a widow)..
Well it has been over 4 years and I since have moved to another province... however he called me on my birthday before I moved and asked me to marry him..... he made a big mistake....

I now find it hard to have a relationship and always keep my distance.
But I am smarter and would never ever go through that abuse again..
People would never ever know he is capable of this because of his fantastic personality towards others..... He would always cry after and go down on his knees begging forgiveness and that he would do anything if I would give him another chance...... Well I would rather go on living alone for the rest of my life than ever having to endure such pain like that.

I know it is hard when you love someone, but someone who really loves you would never hurt you.... I know.... I learned the hard way.


Chris   March 11th, 2009 3:48 am ET

What make it right to say every abuser will hit again? How does Oprah know what a person will do? That statement is ignorant as saying everything black person is gang member.

A   March 11th, 2009 3:56 am ET

Domestic violence occur everyday nationally, which means Rihanna and Chris Brown are human being like everyone else that experience this as the victim and suspect. I strongly feel that the press needs to allow them breathing room. To the fans if you are true fans one situation does not have anything to do with the other. As a person the decision(s) and choice(s) that you make are yours and that what matters and counts at the end. Rihanna and Chris keep your heads up whether the both of you are together as a couple or not remember you have to live your life but go and get counseling for a better future. I love you both. I do not condone the situation but you can not turn your back on those that need help.

Alexia   March 11th, 2009 4:00 am ET

Domestic violence occur everyday nationally, which means Rihanna and Chris Brown are human being like everyone else that experience this as the victim and suspect. I strongly feel that the press needs to allow them breathing room. To the fans if you are true fans one situation does not have anything to do with the other. As a person the decision(s) and choice(s) that you make are yours and that what matters and counts at the end. Rihanna and Chris keep your heads up whether the both of you are together as a couple or not remember you have to live your life but go and get counseling for a better future. I love you both. I do not condone the situation but you can not turn your back on those that need help. Keep them and all in your prayers of change because this is the year for change and many more years to come.

Lamont   March 11th, 2009 4:14 am ET

First and foremost before i write this I want people to be adults and quit making this one sided. I understand in most cases of domestic violence it is a man abusing a woman but that is not always the case. Especially in the Chris Brown- Rhianna situation since everyone only wants to talk about what he did it had been reported before this multiple times about rihanna abusing her brother. And still people want to focus on that side of it because it is politically correct. People say that men and women should be treated equal but that is not true women seem to get a pass for many things that a man does because she is a women. When Chris told that she abused him repeatedly no one cared they only wanted to crucify him but that shows that even though women want to be treated equally they only want it that way when it benefits them. To all the celebrities from Oprah, Robin Givens, Whitney Houston, and all the others i understand you all went through situations but it is not fair to put Chris Brown in with the men who abused you. It is truly sad that you all would use this situation in a one sided format for personal gain.

Christina- Ohio   March 11th, 2009 4:23 am ET

Having suffered as a witness to emotional abuse, during both early childhood and later during adolescents, I understand to an extent, why these women stay. While I have not suffered abuse in my adult life: the early years have crept into my world in many different ways such as low self esteem and i the inabiltiy to develop into the person I was meant to be. It is only recently that I have taken the steps to overcome these issues.

One has to ask why this issue of not just domestic violence but of submissiveness and negative stereotypes of women are prevelant today in our "enlightened society". We need to teach our children new perceptions. As consumers with the power of the dollar we have the right to demand a new path by which to alter these perceptions.

Disney get over your portrayal of princesses as submissive, weak, meek and most assuredly in need of a hero. I do not want my daughter imprinted with this theme, therefore I as a consumer will look for positive images. She is valid as a human, She does not need to be a appendage to a man!!!

Faith P   March 11th, 2009 4:37 am ET

I am a woman who was 'almost' murdered by my husband. I could not report his 'murderous' assault because he drugged me afterwards, and I could not function well enough to get help. He then filed divorce on me, had me kicked out of our home, that I had paid on for ten years. Plus I gave him at least $60K in cash during our marriage.
He boasted to me that he had taken these ten years to just take my money, use my three kids as tax write-offs, and set me up to his family as being crazy. He and his wealthy mother presented 4 attorneys against me, and attempted to prove no injury had taken place. They also have step family in law enforcement and had called police repeatedly to claim I was lying. It has taken me 2 1/2 years to go through repair surgeries, tests proving fractures, verifiable brain damage, thus disabled. Even with all of the medical proof, I am still disregarded as not credible. Lesson: If you have enough money, you can get away with murder. So goes my X-husband, in his own words, 'Onto the next victim'...laughing, no conscience, highly dangerous, (especially to his mother who always bails him out, altho' she wouldn't believe me if I told her because of his deliberate deceit.)He told me how he actually killed someone, got away with it, and would take my inheritance in attorney fees. And he did. ...There is no justice for victims like myself, and there are more and more of us every day. Where is this country going with wealthy husbands disabling their wives, and destroying their lives. In WA state the men are allowed the destroy their wives, and the police DO NOT CARE.

Karen   March 11th, 2009 4:56 am ET

It is difficult to tell someone why you stay when you are being abused. There is so much denial and the denial has its roots that even you are not conciously aware of.
Only years after you leave the situation, do you come to realize in retrospect how truly horrible it was. And THAT'S when you wake up at night and just shudder and shake at what HAD happened and night after night you do this for years, possibly, after its been over, even though now you are safe in your own bed and are free. You begin to see that, but at the time you are numb and pushing everything under, pushing everything under all the time and just putting one foot in front of the other and a smile on for strangers, because you don't want people to know, if they knew then you would have to go into a whole nother place in denial and its already too much to suffocate so you just smile and try to be a good wife and neighbor....
When you finally wake up it takes years to be your own self again.

Dave   March 11th, 2009 5:31 am ET

Surprised about the one sided argument. Women can be aggressive and extremely provoking. If they beat you, you're told you need to control the situation. If you say enough is enough.. you go to jail. I'd like to see a man who has been abused by his wife. They are out there.. not to proud to come forward.. but they are there.

Rebecca   March 11th, 2009 6:24 am ET

"If he hits you once, he'll hit you again." I was there for 15 years!!!! I married the same abusive man THREE times and I could always talk myself into it-–I needed the financial support, he would change (he was always sorry), nobody else would have me, things would have to get better. Well, they didn't. I suffered a complete mental breakdown, and he was still as narcissistic as he could be. When I found myself planning to kill him and then myself, something woke me up and I knew it was time to leave. Praise God I saw some daylight. Please, please ladies....don't stay in an abusive situation!

jill   March 11th, 2009 6:56 am ET

I have been a surivor now for 13 years. I still have nightmares, fears and haunts from the 10 years I was abused.
Domestic Violence is still a issue that many people think is "caused by something the victim has done " and that get what they deserve.
No one deserves that.
It took a friend to be killed by her husband to give me the courage to finally leave. Please anyone who is in this type of relationship get help, make a plan and get out.

Christie   March 11th, 2009 7:08 am ET

People learn 4rm ppls mistakes and true stories .If she `s an excetpn so be it.Am not a victim of domestic violence ,there4 am nt in
the best position 2 advice her, but am glad 2 have listend 2 Ms Given and the rest of the women who spoke out in larryking live.Better still she should look for a film titled `A CRY FOR HELP ` and watch it.

Lady Bridge   March 11th, 2009 7:21 am ET

My heart goes out to victims of domestic violence (assault and battery).
I strongly believe that it's a crime, therefore, punishable by the law.

If I were Rihanna, I would have had to say to Chris Brown, "you can't stand under my um-bah-rella (no, you can no longer stand under my umbrella). I would have also said as Jazmine Sullivan sings in her song, Lions, Tigers & Bears: "I'm not scared of lions, tigers, & bears, but I'm scared of loving you". ~ Lady Bridge

sani   March 11th, 2009 10:07 am ET

there is a high profile case where one of the desperate housewives star has assulted her husband. i believe her name is keri bemison. no one is talking about it. is it because it is the man that is the victim. This double standards is just sickening. the statistics doubtful.

Iris from L.A.   March 11th, 2009 10:46 am ET

Karen you are so right! It DOES take years after the fact to come to terms with all that happened. I, too, am often awakened and shudder! It's our PTSD...and so very hard for others to understand that .Most people take the "aren't you over him yet" stance and don't understand that the subconscious holds so much and there are so many triggers.

and to answer some of the men who have posted.Yes yes there are many men who suffer abuse (physical and emotional ) as well and that needs to be recognized. Abuse is unacceptable across the board!

The ramifications of abuse are long term. If only everyone could recognize an abuser and leave them totally isolated and on their own...but sadly this won't ever happen as the abusiveness rears its ugly head only AFTER we love them. Then we are stunned by their outbursts.

The rule of thumb should be: It happens ONCE. That is the Last time!
I've learned that lesson the hard way. I also have learned to listen to my 'gut instinct". If something seems odd or bizarre or too quirky or weird or just plain strange....I don't see them again. Maybe I'm too careful ...over cautious...but I've learned my initial reaction is to be trusted!

Judy Rey   March 11th, 2009 4:51 pm ET

I am 66 years old and I have yet to completely recover from the emotional and physical abuse I endured in my 20s. I am still not able to trust men. I don't seem to be able to get past a "friendship" with them. As soon as they attempt to commit or become intimate I run the other way. Outwardly I appear to be a strong, confident person, but internally I am still afraid.

Joe G. (Illinois)   March 11th, 2009 5:55 pm ET

For the sake of joining and making a more realistic conversation.. I like to add my observation which is: “Evil goes to bed with Evil..” And that’s a fact that cannot be disputed or contested.. You just can’t go to hell any other way.. Does that bring peace to anyone? I hope so… Anyhow, the real question or dilemma here seems to be how to step into the ring with the Devil and come out victorious fallowing a set of rules. “It doesn’t happen.” By the way who of you believes in Abortion? Has done it or be willing to do it as some time later? Honestly.. Answer that question.. For yourself..! We are here talking to grow..!

Terry, TX   March 12th, 2009 9:49 am ET

Women being brutalized in the name of love should never be applauded or excused. Never!

Brutalization and murder of women in the name of love and control occurs by human beings in all races, all countries, all political ideologies...etc... We have even the mutilation of womens genitals, beheadings, floggings.... in the name of religion going on now.

However...that's not the subject the activists crazies target.... let's spend millions on rubbing vegetables all over your body on TV, Unions wanting to remove the secret ballot, people invading churches..

Penny   March 12th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

Why do you not comment on the fact that, according to the police report, Rihanna struck Brown at the start of the fight. While her crime was less severe than his, she committed a crime, did she not? Why cover this up when it's part of the story?

Dionicio   March 13th, 2009 12:35 am ET

Ike & Tina have a new name Chris & Rihanna. As successful as they are in their craft. I have choosen to no longer purchase or consume their products. I can not justify the actions that have taken place.

Latoya   March 13th, 2009 5:54 am ET

I am a victim of mutiple abuse. The Resource Center for Women really help me open my eyes, be true to myself, and kept me sane from all the abuse I was dealing with everyday. I'd like to see centers up like this up and running for both sexes. Wrong is wrong, Right is right. Not going to do right by others in anyway, stay to yourself!

nicole   March 14th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

I was in an abusive relationship for five years. I was able to leave through help of the womens resource center and threat by DSS of removing my children due to the unhealthy injurious environment. I put my children over myself and the feelings that I had for my ex. That was the beginning of the end for my situation. he never did change , but continue to be physically and emotionally abusive even after the divorce. It wasn't till he actually moved away cross several states was i left alone.

Anthony   March 14th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

No doubt, spouses should never hit each other !

However, the abused spouse has a responsibility to seriously WARN the other that it is unacceptable, and if it happens again, that spouse would notify a family member, friend, church friend, or the police.

Most abusers continue to abuse because the spouse tolerates it. If the abuser knew there is a very real possiblity that the secret would be revealed and known to a church or police, I GUARANTEE you that would ELIMINATE the abuse in most, if not all marriages...and would spare lots of hurt.

There's certain things in life that are more important to the abuser, like their name and reputation...they are more important than abusing.

Andrea   March 14th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

I tried many times to involve the police..restraining orders did not help..the last beating I called the police he did one night in jail..this is a BIG reason why woman STAY!! The laws for domestic violence should be tougher!!

Gloria   March 14th, 2009 10:02 pm ET

I was in an abusive relationship for 5yrs, by the Grace of God I am one of the lucky ones & got out before my son who was only 1yr old could grow up & continue the cycle. My ex was very manipulative & always very very sorry & it will never happen again, but of course it always did. I knew I had to get "OUT", after I started to fight back, & would sit in the dark after he was asleep & think about ways I could hurt him. I agree with the gentleman talking to Joy Behar, we need to start talking more to the abusers, find out why they think it's ok to hit a woman, what do we need to do to stop this vicious cycle. Robin Givens, you go girl for making sure you raise your boys to be Good MEN & Good FATHERS!! Rihanna & Chris, ya'll are in my prayers, it's hard but you're young & can overcome this, wether together or apart, please seek counseling. I have been married for 16yrs to a wonderful man who would never intentionally hurt me & who loves me & I love him. I know how BLESSED I am. Thank you for letting me vent & GOD BLESS YA.

Pam   March 14th, 2009 10:19 pm ET

I want all the other survivors to know this. "I'm so Happy being ME!" That is the one thing most abusers don't want and don't can't handle. I was lost but now I am found. I found my way out using my mouth. Although the path was violent. The best complement I have gotten from my mother is how proud she was of me. Not because of the three educational degrees I hold. Not because I was honorable discharged from the US Army. Not because I had her first grandchild. But, because I had the strength to walk, run, skip, and hide from my abusers. Even on active duty you can say what you want, i'd rather live with the humilty of being called a coward, than to lie in a cold grave. Like they say, it's all about "choices." My choice is LIFE!

viyana   March 14th, 2009 11:03 pm ET

Why is it that ppl 4get the kids in all the man/woman victim talk?
My parents had a horrible relationship wen I was a kid..they fought constantly n my dad hit my mom often..she hurled things at him in defence I suppose! Anyway eventually they did the "smart" thing n got divorced! I was 6 then..over they yrs they grew civil towards here's wat baffles me..they had joint custody of me n for reasons I still don't understand..I soon became the mom used to hit me everytime she got mad n wen I visited my dad he did the was like they needed to vent n I was the outlet! N all this while they had a friendly relationship!!!
Is it any wonder then that wen I grew up I ended up in an abusive relationship at the age of 19! N I stayed with him for three yrs n my parents then acted all self-righteous n claimed to be supportive n gelp me get out of it..I dunno who to be mad at anymore!
I'm now 25 n in a healthy relationship for the last 2 yrs..I've told him all abt my traumatic past n he's helpin me heal..sometimes it takes just the love n support of one person to make a difference!!!

women fighting for women   March 15th, 2009 12:07 am ET

I really beleive women need to love their self more and not settle out of loniness. abuse is not worth it! when i heard robin say; she thought her love would fix things. i felt the same if only my love can change him. but that is a lie and the truth is.. the abuser does not change! once he or she has control you become what they command you to be! i lived this life for 3 and a half years. beleiving he will change! once he or she hits you he will again. it is selfish on the victums who allow family and friends to worry about them. i put my own through hell and didnt realize what i was doing. i was blinded by the devil and now realize how blessed i am to be alive. now i am writing a memoir of my journey of love and abuse. women wake up we are special! created in the image of God. he did not create us for abuse!

Elizabeth   March 15th, 2009 1:02 am ET

Yes, I was in an abusive relationship. Yes, I hoped things would get better. Yes, the fighting,degredation,verbal, emotional, spiritual and mental abuse happend in front of my kids. What finally made me leave was he hit me when I was 4 months pregant. I had told him specifically if he hit me again I was out AND I stuck to my word. That was the key. I finally kept my word. I finally had to call the police and he was arrested. I was blamed for all sorts of things from his family. His mother knew and witnessed it almost everyday. SHE was mad at me for calling the police and having him arrested. SHE said I should of just left. His sisters and brother witnessed it. HIS family was mad at me and said I blew up on him and drove him to escalate to such rage. Of course, his mom had to bail him out and guess who took her? His second ex-wife who was expecting him to take her back. She had wanted him back the whole time. She even went as far as to spread rumors that I gave him a std to his family and her friends and at her work. I was also blamed by my mom for staying so long. The day he was arrested my son said that was it. I was leaving and not going back. He knew my pain but said his half brother or sister was the focus not me. Someone was going to die and he was not going to have it. So I left and despite my efforts to get back and work with him on the probation requirements, I finally had to get a protection order. I got the protection order for two years after so many threats. I had kept a journal and calendar so if I got divorced I would make sure our baby would not be around him. I willing got pregnant thinking he had thoroughly changed. He said our baby wasnt his. NONE of the anger management and domestic violence meetings he was required to go to evidently had any effective results. I am a college graduate. I am working on my certification to teach. My kids havent any problems telling someone what will happen if they are hit. I cry every day. I have a fear of being around men. So much of what he did has been engraved in my head, it it difficult and a challenge every day to battle within my self and those who now treat me as my estranged husband did because their feeling is I took it from him, I will take it from anyone. RHIANNA-leave him. Leave him now. He isnt a man. He will blame you for all of it. Leave him. He will never forgive you 100%.

Jo   March 15th, 2009 1:03 am ET

I think sometimes women claim domestic violence in a way to control the man. My son's girlfriend accused hem of flirting and wanting every girl he came in contact with even family members. everyday she would hound him for hours about a jealousey issue. One day I came home and a family member told me he heard her hit my son. she drove him craxy. Finally she had him put in jail for 5 days for pulling her hair, when all he was trying to do was stop her from pulling on his seat belt and kicking the back seat while he was driving. she was in the back seat with the baby. He is still going to court to fight it.I think women can push and push and get in a mans face trying to get him to do something so then they can call the cops.

Allyson New Jersey   March 15th, 2009 1:40 am ET

I have been involved in an abusive relationship for about 3 years. Although I have joined many organizations that support victims of domestic violence (DASI is the organization in my area), I am shocked at the lack of support from the police. I found out the hard way that when a person is being attacked, they should not retaliate. I was pregnant a couple of years ago with my abuser's baby. He was upset and was pushing me over and over. I finally bit his sholder as he tried to push me again. When the police finally arrived they arrested me for injuring him. He was not arrested at all despite any possible damange that might have been done to our baby. In the state of New Jersey if there are any physical signs of abuse, an arrest has to be made. I had no physical sings, thus he was not arrested.

I don't understand why the law seems so inconsistent. Despite being arrested for this incident, my abuser has attacked me several times, I have police reports which state the physical signs of the abuse on my body and they refused to arrest him because he fled on foot and they would not chase him, thus no arrest.

This man has beaten me too many times to count, he has choked me, grabbed me by the hair, held knives to me and threatened to kill both myself and our unborn baby.

I guess I'm just venting, but the true tragedy is that our daughter passed away about 6 months ago...his dog attacked her and ultimately killed her. The night before she passed away, he threw a bottle at her while she slept in her crib because he was too tired to feed her. He shoulted at her and told her he never wanted her and that he wished she was stillborn (she was 5 days old). He is able to go to work everyday and live a perfectly happy life. He made a comment to me after our daughter's death that at least he didn't have to worry about paying child support. This man is not in jail. He is working and dating and WILL do this to another woman.

I woud like to do something but NO ONE CARES. If there is anyone out there who can help me, please respond. I know that I am a lost cause and that I will not be able to bring my daughter back, but I feel that he will probably attacked another woman and I fear that she will not be able to walk away.

rance abram   March 15th, 2009 5:47 am ET

it's funny how everyone thinks that we men are always the ones doing wrong. when it comes down to it abuse is abuse. it's no big deal when a women hits a man, but the world falls apart when a man hits a woman. i will be one of the first to get on a man for putting his hands on a woman. just don't make it like it's only the men doing it.

Mary   March 15th, 2009 7:18 am ET

Some of the ignorance in these comments astounds me. Abusers all operate from the same "playbook". As Robin said, her story is Rhianna's story is my story, is the next woman's story. I am in agreement that the term "Domestic Violence" needs to be changed to "Assault & Battery", if only to make society treat this social ill with the gravity it deserves. I was also happy to see men on the panel on Larry King and on CNN because if more men spoke up and "checked" their abusive friends, acquantances-that would go a long, long way to ending this abhorrent behavior. A man who beats a woman is nothing but a coward....they need to be called out. As for some of these comments "in the name of religion" about women needing to be submissive and know their place-as somehow justifying abuse--you who believe that know nothing of God or the power of God's love.

dmhertzog   March 15th, 2009 9:50 am ET

My daughter is 24 years old and has been married for a few years without any children. I'm glad all this information is making headlines because I have been feeling that things were very wrong in her relationship and now from all this information I have been following I realize what is really going on.

Here's just a few highlights of what I know is going on because she doesn't tell me much. (This will be hard to keep short)

1. He would not give her money to get her asthma medicines. (She has had a serious asthma problem since 3 years old and almost died from an asthma attack in 2001.)
2. While recovering from foot surgery and on crutches last February he threw her out of the house in the middle of the night.
3. He would have her pay for things with a credit card and not give her enough money to pay the balance.
4. He wouldn't pay for her surgery bills but made her sign an agreement saying that if she wouldn't take any money from their savings (and it is quite substantial) he would co-sign a loan for her to pay off those bills. Then he made fun of her in front of his whole family that she had this big credit card debt so he had to take a loan out for her.
5. He tells her things like: I'm a good husband and your a horrible wife.
6. When we were on vacation on the East Coast visiting family at the beach, he got extremely angry with her over the phone about her visiting with her male cousin. He had her in tears and when I got on the phone, he cursed me out. When we returned home from that trip, he had destroyed EVERY photo of our family from their wedding album to any photos in the house.
7. He wouldn't visit with our family much or do any family events (even though our families have been friends for years) or do things with other couples only his male friends.
8. He will "playfully" hit her (once in the knee) – she would be in tears and then he would apologize. Although I honestly don't know how much this has happened. She only shared some occasions.
9. When she used his jeep, she had to fill up the tank and he would keep a running list of how much she owed him up to the penny and then automatically deduct it from their account when her paycheck was deposited.
10. Her car needs fixed and he refuses to take care of it.
11. He takes her on vacations and then sees other girls.
12. We went through a period of time when she barely talked to us because he threatened her when she told us anything "personal."

She has been separated from him for a few months now and has seen an attorney. He is constantly begging her to come home. He says he will get help, but doesn't make any effort. He won't even support her financially in any way. He takes her on dates and constantly texts her. When she doesn't answer the texts, he continues to text and when she does answer he is mean and nasty in talking to her. She has tried to break it off, but he doesn't let her – even though he won't let her.

This is all I know about and I know there is much more so I worry ALOT! We talk a lot more now, but she is still afraid to say very much to me. I have taped the shows from all the news last week and she is going to watch them with me this week.

What else should I be doing to help??? Do you think she is in any immediate danger? Am I over-reacting?

Sharon W   March 15th, 2009 12:30 pm ET

I was also a victim of Domestic Violence where I was subjected to a less obvious form of emotional abuse. I have been married for 16 years before my marriage ended. I was almost killed for being a wife & mother and I don't even know why. I was being stalked by a man that I did not know and I didn't know why. I did not know this stalker.

Strange things began to happen shortly after we moved into our home 2 weeks after I had just given birth to my fourth child. Strange events began a few months later, with loud knocks on the front door about 3:00 am. My husband, at that time, reassured me that it was just kids playing around. I believed him. The next time it occured he went to the door but no one was there. The knocking continued on and I became worried because I did not know the area where we have lived and I was an hour away from extended family members.

One day, I drove to the store which was 3 minutes from our house to get milk, when I was driving back home I realized that I didn't have brakes when I slowed down to make a left turn onto my street. In a panic, I coasted my car and pulled into our driveway. I got out of the car and ran into the house and told my husband that I did not have any brakes, he looked at the car and took off the tire to check the brakes.

Shortly after, he brought in and showed me the brake line and then told me " It looks like someones out to get you." Someone has sliced your brake line. In shock, I grabbed the brake line from him and told him that we should take it to our mechanic to have him look at it. He then took it from me and then went outside to the car. My mother & sister were at the house at the time. My mother told me and the children to get into her car to take a quick drive, we returned 15 minutes later and noticed that my car was not in the driveway and also noticed that my husbands car wasn't there either. I tried to phone my husband but he did not answer. Upset, we decided to look for my car.

I found my car parked at the gas station. The mechanic approached me and was extremely upset. He told me that I needed brakes on my car six months ago and that my husband told the mechanic that he would put them on, but he never did. I tried to call him again, but no answer. My husband did not come home until 4 days later. I became suspicious of my husband at this time. I eventually got a restraining order against him and had him removed from the house.

The stalking, however, continued and so did the car tampering incidents. The stalking incidents occured for about 5-6 years. The stalking incidents began when my husband was still living in the house and continued on after he was forced out. I had to call the police numerous times.

The police told me about the patterns of stalkers where they get a thrill out of you not knowing who they are, then eventually they start to appear, and then the police said that one day they will unexpectingly show their identity and kill. The stalker was there but he wouldn't show his identity for years. Eventually, I had to move from our home because the stalker was starting to show up exactly as the police told me.

I was involved in a situation that was unknown to me that almost took my life. Domestic violence can take many forms and I believe that that there are underlying triggers to this problem. I am in the process of writing a few books based on my experiences to help others.

Ayo Adene   March 15th, 2009 4:48 pm ET

i find it hard who to defend. No controversy, women are the victims in 65-90% of cases. But there are other victims too. Men who are abused by women too. And children who grow up in these circumstances. Now everyone is taking sides. It s a really sick epidemic. Some people are actually blaming the victims for 'provoking' the aggressor!!

i think all men, women and children regardless of their role as victim or abuser need education on relationships , true love, power and violence.

it should be a worldwide campaign, like the fight against AIDS.

Mike Marshall   April 6th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

What about innocent until proven guilty. You have a judge on the show who has already convicted before trial. Trial by media is wrong and unAmerican.
Domestic violence is truly wrong and untolerable. It must be stopped; but at what cost? Do we have sacrifice our rights.

Doug in VA   April 6th, 2009 9:17 pm ET

Look they put Mike Vick in jail for abusing DOGS. They need to put this BOY Chris Brown in jail for a long time for what he's done to Rihanna.
He's NO man because a real man wouldn't abuse anyone. Forget all the couseling and poor guy crap...He's an ABUSER...he needs to service TIME with some guys that will teach him how to act .

S Johnson   April 7th, 2009 12:12 am ET

I am so sick of people exploiting other peoples relationships for their own purposes. Shut up already. You have no idea how these two young people might find happiness. My partner and I have been through difficult times and we are now happier than we ever thought possible. One thing we know, we NEVER would have gotten to where we are now if all the EXPERTS had been injecting themselves into our relationship.

Marcy   April 7th, 2009 12:33 am ET

The lawyer on Larry King's show tonight (4/6/09) made a comment with regards to Chris Brown being able to bounce back after all of this. His statement was that Chris Brown " a rapper...", and that going to jail would not necessarily do anything negative to his image; rather this would change his image. I just want to point out that this statement would be true–if Chris Brown were, in fact, a rapper. However, the truth of the matter is that Chris Brown is a singer; he is not a rapper. If Chris Brown goes to jail, his career as a singer would be over. There would be no hope for him to have a "changed" image, as the case would be if he were a rapper.

April   April 28th, 2009 10:36 am ET

I would like to know where Nicole's family was over the years when she allegedly was abused? There was there any intervention?

You know myself and others wonder, was he financially taking care of them as well, is that why there was no info.,help,assistance,intervention, etc?


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