March 11, 2009

ICYMI: Robin Givens on her story of domestic abuse

Posted: 07:58 AM ET

On Tuesday night's "Larry King Live," guest host Joy Behar talked about whether the Rihanna/Chris Brown case sends a dangerous message with guest Robin Givens.

Behar: Does this Rihanna/Chris Brown [story] bring up bad memories for you?

Givens: Yes, it does.

Behar: Tell me how you've been feeling lately while you're watching this on television?

Givens: Even sitting now, you know, here with you, it shakes you up. You know, you begin to sweat. You begin to feel sad all over. ... It's hard to sit here.


Filed under: Larry King Live

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Laurie P   March 11th, 2009 8:48 am ET

I have a 16 year old daughter and I am just disgusted with the press surrounding Rhianna and Chris Brown. My daughter loves Rhianna and her music but I wonder what kind of message is being sent to young women about domestic violence. from their partners. From what we can see Rhianna is telling the world that this it is ok for a man to hit you and also that it is ok for you to take him back. I have to say that I have lost all respect for both Chris Brown and Rhianna. I have talked to my daughter about this and told her that it is never ok to be hit or to hit anyone else. I have also encourage her not to buy any cd's form either one of them. I hope that Chris Brown does not hit Rhianna again but as we all know they will hit again, they always do.

ForOthers   March 11th, 2009 9:00 am ET

I am glad that someone has actually come out in the media and not blamed the victim. Chris Brown, and all abusers, need to be held accountable for their violent and abusive choices. Domestic violence and sexual assault are the only crimes where the victims are blamed for the violence that has been perpetrated against them. Women are living in fear all around this world - this is domestic terrorism. Know that there is help available if you are being abused. Call the national, confidential hotline – 1-800-799-SAFE.

ANNOYMOUS   March 11th, 2009 9:30 am ET

I agree totally with what Robin Givens said. I was not in an abusive relationship, but I grew up in an abusive household. I use to watch my father beat my mother until I was old enough to help protect her. There were times when my mother would go around wearing shades to cover up the black eyes, and there was even a time when my father locked my mother out the house. When I tried to let her back in he locked me out with her. My brother (now deceased) was to young to even remember the things he had done. My father is a recovering alcoholic and I think that is the excuse he used. My mother is still with him. They have been married for 38 years. I have even had my boughts with my father. Once I was old enough he stopped beating my mom and started on me. One time he beat me in front of my 6 month old son, because he thought I let my boyfriend drive my mothers car. He slammed my head into the floor several times. My mother called the police and told them I provoked them. I love my mother and I feel she did that out of fear. I am now 37 years old and will never let that happen to me, nor will I let either of my sons treat a woman that way. There is no excuse no matter what the situation. My prayers go out to Rihanna and anyone else who is going through this.

Cree   March 11th, 2009 9:36 am ET

Laurie, worry about the message that you send to your OWN daughter! If your foundation is solid why are you worrying about your child being influenced by a singer, and quite frankly what message was Rihanna sending in her lyrics to your 16 yr old daughter from the beginning? (Have you listened to the lyrics before..I am sure you haven't) Which brings me to my point that people just want to have something to say and live on top of their soapbox for the time being. Take care of whats going wrong in your life and stop being obsessed with a celebrity's life! The media sends out negative images 24/7 are you going to tell her to stop looking at MTV, VH1, BET, FOX News etc or television in general? Are you going to tell her to not listen to rap music AT ALL (because its all negative)?

Because you telling your daughter to stop buying his/her CD is like telling your daughter not to get on myspace........VOID!

Alexandra H   March 11th, 2009 9:40 am ET

I understand the outrage and disgust mothers of teenage girls feel about the whole Rihanna/Chris Brown situation. I have a 7-year old daughter myself and I always teach her to stand up for herself and her believes and never ever let anybody disrespect her in any way. But I've also been in the same situation Rihanna is in now. Funny, once the story first broke out, I thought well another young girl got a taste of so-called love from a so-called great loving guy. But when the reports about her getting back together with him came, I thought: Oh my gosh, that's the story of my life. You wouldn't believe how many times I got back together with my ex, how many times I believed that he'd changed as he promised. But he never changed, in fact, he actually got colder and crueler. It wasn't until he smacked me on the side of my head and raptured my eardrum that I finally had enough. It felt that a part of me had died that night, and as painful as it was to finally open my eyes and see my ex for what he actually was, it was also freeing. I was hard to be living by myself of of a sudden and oh how many times I'd have an urge to answer one of his numerous phone calls or give in and believe the love notes he'd leave me along with a dozen of roses. But I just kept telling myself it's just another lie, it's just another lie. I was also fortunate to have a great support from my family and friends. However, all in all, it took me 6 years to open my eyes and see the reality of the situation. So, I know firsthand that it's not easy to get out of this situation. It takes a lot of time, a lot of growing up, and a lot self searching as well.
The one common thing that all these women, including myself, have in common is caring for others always before caring for themselves. But once you learn to love yourself and care for yourself first, you learn to stand up for yourself in any situation and not let anybody bring you down. It's the key, or at least it was for me.

Jacqueline   March 11th, 2009 9:54 am ET

I was physically and mentally abused by my first husband. He decided to quit after about ten years. His consisted of me losing weight until I lost over 100 lbs (starving-having only one meal per day), leaving me home at night locked up with no way of getting out of the house. My punishment when I ate more than I should have was a whipping and mental torture. He finally realized what he did and he became an alcoholic which took him out of this world. The damage was done because while he was doing all of this to me, I was dealing with all alone. I could not confide in anyone or I would never hear the end of it. I already had enough mental problems to deal with from my childholld, and then I went and got more in that marriage. I could write for a while, but the thing of it is when you wake up and realize that enought is enough-leave before you are the guest of honor at your own funeral. I don't care if it is the first time-step back and leave him alone because until he realizes he is wrong, he will continue to keep doing it. And despite all of the tears he may cry and plead, get some space from him even if it means divorce, get your space!!!

Tiffany   March 11th, 2009 10:30 am ET

I am the victim also of an abusive realtionship. Seems as though everyone I have ever fell in love with put his hands on me. But most recent my husband of 7 years - we have been having trust issues and he has been cheating on me with several other women for the last year now. I have been trying to divorce him for a year now but also keep falling back into the trap of "I love you, it will never happen again" then it does. Early January 2009 he came out to my house I had an OFP against him to stay away from our daughter and I, he refused to do so. So on January 11th at 1:30am he came knocking on my window in my bedroom as I was sleeping, I didn't answer the door and it took him about 8-12 kicks and kicked the door in came straight into my bedroom and started beating me in the head at least 15 times leaving me almost unconsious bleeding from my ear and my noise. I had welts the size of golf balls on my head, eye swelled shut and bruised all over my face– I was on the phone with 911 when he started knocking on the window and it took them at least 7-10 min to get to my house he had done the damage and already in his car leading the police on a high speed chase for about 10 miles until they spun him out and arrested him. My daughter was sleeping in the next room and slept through the whole thing (how I will never know) She woke up to walk in my bedroom and see her mother beaten and bruised and bleeding all over. She was in shock. He did get arrested and was sentenced in Febuary to 100 months in prison - he had a quite lengthy past record (not with abuse but drugs) so that is what lead him to the 100 months otherwise the prosecuter said he would have only recieved 40. We have been able to put all this behind us and move on - but it will be hard to trust another man and my daughter has no desire to ever see her father again.

ANONYMOUS   March 11th, 2009 10:43 am ET

I was abused in my first marriage. It started with a hit in the face, then choking and kicking. He said it was because I didn't listen to him, it was my fault. He called me fat and ugly, said nobody would want me. He brought me flowers after, he said I'm sorry, he started crying. He made me feel like I did something bad. I took abuse for years at the hands of someone I loved. No woman should fear the man she loves. No man has a right to put his hands on any woman, I don't care what she said or what she did. The rule is, no hitting, on either side. There has to be respect for both individuals in a relationship. It took me many years to get out of that abusive relationship. I had the typical doormat syndrome, like many woman have. We let men wipe their feet all over us and we tell ourselves it's ok, they will change, we can change them. But, the abuser will always abuse unless you do something about it. We always feel sorry for them, we take them back, but let me tell you this; A LEOPARD NEVER CHANGES THEIR SPOTS. You must get out of an abusive relationship, It's unhealthy, it gives you low self esteem that takes many many years to get back.

Ben   March 11th, 2009 10:53 am ET

Domestic violence is an awful thing. One important thing to realize is that it is not a male-only issue. It's not even a mostly male issue. Recent data (e.g., international dating violence study) shows that at least 50% of initiated physical violence in domestic relationships is by women. It may be that women are in greater immediate physical danger. That's only logical, given size differences. But, the dangers (even physical to men are real, especially with weapons). For example, Geno Hayes, an NFL linebacker, was stabbed in the neck this week by his girlfriend.

Because the system (i.e., the violence against women act, domestic violence agencies, popular media, etc. . .) is set up in a manner that assumes male = abuser, female = victim, all sorts of injustices are meted out.

Socially, men do not report DV to the police because they will most likely be the one arrested, unless there's overwhelming proof otherwise. Even then (e.g., the situation where the minister's wife shot and killed her husband and then alleged abuse – with no evidence but her word), justice may still favor the woman.

There are several mental illnesses in which DV is likely. Personality disorders being among the more prevalent. For example, a PD that predominantly effects women is borderline personality disorder. Almost, by definition domestic violence is happening in these relationships. By being one-sided in our emphasis on DV, we are giving abusive women substantial ammunition to use against men including financial support, and implicit lack of legal support.

Understand that while the size difference might suggest that women won't be the aggressors (because it's not logical) or that men are perfectly capable of defending themselves, that men, unless they are also nuts, really cannot defend themselves. If under attack physically from a women, it is not a reasonable choice to physically defend yourself. There are too many dangers legally and otherwise. For one thing, the average guy has no desire to physically fight with a women, doesn't want to hurt a woman, is trained from an early age that hitting women is wrong. It's always dangerous to be in a physical altercation.

We need to be a little less gender biased in our approach to DV issues. As has been pointed out here, DV is not just physical (though it is often a component). Other factors (verbal, and the emotional effects of both physical and verbal abuse) are important.

Kristi   March 11th, 2009 11:13 am ET

It is so true how hearing about Rhianna's experience with Chris Brown causes all those moments of being abused come back at you. You actually see yourself in that moment again – the hits, the slaps, the pushes, spitting in your face – it seems like a recurring horrible nightmare. Oprah said it best when she so sternly warned all women – if a man hits you once, he will hit you again." True also is the statement that you feel you can fix them, make it ok for them, nurture them, you want to believe it really is not the way they are, you want to believe they care. Truth is, they do not care – in most cases they live in denial they ever did anything. Get out before you get permanently injured or killed.

Abused Man   March 11th, 2009 11:48 am ET

I agree with Ben. I am in a situation (marraige) where I have endured for 13 years, my wife mentally and physically abusing me. Late last year, she punched in the face in from of my son and I vowed to leave and I left. However I went back and we are going through counseling right now and she is finally recognizing this as a problem and getting help. I have given her an ultimatum that if she doesn't then I am gone (and I mean it!!).

DV is very real and there are victims on both sides not just women. For me, I recently told my family about some of the abuse, and I think I never really spoke up against it before bc of my pride and being the MAN. I am a changed Man today and I have the sense enough to want to leave if this doesn't get resolved. I don't want to be the guest of honor at my own funeral but it's the hardest thing to come to this conclusion, for own safety and being there for my kids.

Shelly   March 11th, 2009 12:08 pm ET

For those who are quick to condemn Rianna for going back to Chris Brown– understand that there is a a huge element of psychological manipulation at play here. She is being fooled into thinking it will never happen again, and when it does, he will simply do it again–and she will once again forget about it and stick with him. She *has* to forget about it because her self-esteem is so low as a result of being with an abuser, that the thought of being without him is terrifying.

It doesn't matter how rich or how popular you are, when you are mentally beat down to that extent– you truly don't think you can do better. And a part of you is led to believe that you deserved the beating for doing something that led him to hurt you.

Tim Martins   March 11th, 2009 12:21 pm ET

Robin needs to shut up about Rihanna. I suppose she forgets the fact that she was a gold digger and that she mentally abused Mike Tyson. I suppose all women are innocent and completely incapable of abuse. They have different genes, I suppose. They don't slap, bite, punch, kick, and make false accusations. They don't murder men and get away with it. Shall I name the amount of celebrities that were killed by women? They either get away with it or get much smaller sentences as compared with men. Remember the kid Romeo form the Steve Harvey Show? HIs girlfriend admitted to fasely accusing him of rape and getting some other fellow to kill him. Women aren't going to be satisfied until men are wearing skirts. They're getting everything. Guilt is a you -know-what. There should be equal punishement amongst teh sexes, not some fake myth and bandwagoning about how men are abusers.

Sandra   March 11th, 2009 12:40 pm ET

My brother tried to kill my mother. Contrary to logic, our penal system does nothing to help people on this, it just puts people in jail to serve time. They don't get help there. Nor does the family in understanding it. This show summed up a LOT of misconceptions. We couldn't throw enough love at it. We truly loved our family. It wasn't about what was said that day. Robyn said that people would ask her what she said. I used to wonder that about my mom also. What did she say to my brother that made him so mad? One therapist many years ago said that they hate their mother because they weren't protected. I disagree with that now. I think it's exactly what the man in that interview's that they saw their father beat their mother. they may not have seen it, but they heard it and saw the bruises. they also cowered under the bed. and they learned that was how to deal with keep them under control. it's truly as gross as it sounds.

I rarely think there is any useful information on television, but you hit that one right on the nose. and will take men speaking up against this type of behavior...rape, beating, all of those disgusting silent code things males do to dominate women. it's simply gross and disgusting behavior.

Sandra   March 11th, 2009 12:48 pm ET

Yes, as Oprah said, if they hit you once, they will hit you again. Our system does nothing to "help" people understand this stuff...they just put them in a box for 2-5 years. Most of these kids saw men treat women poorly before they were even old enough to know where it came from. They can't help themselves. My mom denies that this even happened...they were drinking when it happened and she doesn't think we remember. I assure remember.

maryanne   March 11th, 2009 12:51 pm ET

The issue of domestic violence is complicated, important and needs to be raised and discussed. What I am not hearing is how this has come to be. At the root of this is what we teach our children. Every time a child is disciplined physically, the parent is TEACHING the child that if you don't behave in a certain way is it "ok" for you to be physically hurt , even by the person who loves you the most. Children view their parents as the ones in this world who love them – if the parent hits you, you must have deserved it and it is ok for the one who loves you to do that in anger. So later in life its the same – well, he or she loves me, so I must have deserved it. PARENTS, PLEASE, think about what you are teaching your children. I especially speak out to mothers. This is not only a male issue. If a woman hits a female or male child she is saying it is ok to be physically hit and to hit when you are angry. This must start with women – stop hitting your children -ever. The message you want to give all your children is that no one deserves to be hit, EVER. I implore the media to bring the issue of child abuse and physical discipline to the forefront – if this is not addressed, domestic violence will never end. Teach children that they are loved and cherished, no matter what the offense, and that they never deserve to be physically hit.

Sandra   March 11th, 2009 1:00 pm ET

Kids process abuse differently. Not only from their own parents, but people they know or had some reason to trust. They lack adequate resources to do anything, so they have to contort their own mind to make it fit the world they live in. Kids need serious protection, and they don't get it.

Renee' Walker   March 11th, 2009 1:01 pm ET

I am a SURVIVOR of domestic violence. My then husband beat me in front of my two daughters and his two children. My oldest daughter, who was 14 at the time, jumped on his back to stop him from hitting and choking me. She then hid her sister and step brothers and sisters in the closet with her while calling 911 for assistance. He hung the phone up, broke the cell phones in the house and acted like a bandaid would repair the massive damage he did to my face, my skull, my entire body as he plummetted me. My hero of a daughter saved my life by running from our home to a neighbors home until the law arrived, and he was taken away to jail. I know first hand how terrible abuse is. When I say that he had ONLY choked me once before it makes me seem to be making that a light subject but it isn't. He should never have choked me the 6 months before he beat me. It happened two times. One time too many. I know personally ALL of the feelings women have who have been abused, the guilt of leaving someone that is supposed to love you ,who you want to save, well save yourself. Get out. I barely made it out alive by the grace of God and my daughter. I divorce my husband, and I put him in prison with the state I live in. He was sentenced to 8 yrs, 20 mths served time, 4 yrs probation. He actually served 8 mths for a felony of high and aggravated domestic violence. Ironic, he got out on good behavior.
There needs to be stricter laws on domestic violence, and a huge awareness from all. One in every three women is abused during their lifetime.

annonymous   March 11th, 2009 1:30 pm ET

I was in a mentally abusive relationship that was starting to get physical. One night my boyfriend was drunk and got made at me for who knows what...I told him I was going to leave (which I had done before and went back) and he said good but if I tried to get my stuff he would slit my throat. That was it for me, I called the police so I could get my stuff and my dog out safely.

It has been over a year, but I still think of it. I am so grateful I got out when I did. I don't know what made me leave that time and stay gone, but what ever it was I am happy for it everyday. The biggest problem is that it becomes the "normal" life and everything else seems abnormal. No matter what my friends or family said I couldn't make the decision to leave until that moment of clarity.

Lily Habte   March 11th, 2009 1:33 pm ET

Very informative show on domestic violence. I have worked in DV for many years, and one thing we fail to do is hold women responsible as well. It is empowering to know that women are the most important part of the equation when we talk about change. We are not going to 'saved' or 'protected' by the reformed abuser who went to anger management or abusers 52 week course.
Abuse in all relationships starts out in a subtle but calculated manner. It is usualy the 'perfect' relationship that is likely to be abusive. Why? Because it is hard to abuse someone who is not invested in the relationship. Women need to be educated on the red flags so that they are able to make the right call upon onset, and not after the abuse has progressed. Parents teach your girls to say 'No'. I have also found many women who feel ashamed about the abuse, while the man can't pin point what he did wrong. So, I say to women all over, take responsibility for what you do about it, and not what happened. Big difference.
As a whole let us work on changing shackeled beliefs that stem from old values, religious translations, and social expectations of what a womens place in society is. Our life is made up of the same fiber as that of a man, and has the same value. But, we need to believe it before we can sell it to the men in our life.
And don't forget we raise these men, therefore we are the first introduction they have to women in their lives. Let's take responsility for how we raise them and what we expose them to.

Karen   March 11th, 2009 1:41 pm ET

I agree with everything that is being said about domestic abuse, I was in a very abusive relationship myself. The first time I was hit and violated every body around me came to my rescue, and was advising me of what they were going to do to the person who did this to me, and what I should do pretty much the same as what Rhianna is going through unfortunatley my friends and family were so outraged about what happened to me (I no they were doing it out of love.)that it made me feel very overwelmed and embaressed about what happened and believe it or not that acually pushed me back to him. I just wanted it to all go away as if it never happened. He told me that he was so sorry and that he would never do it again I thought he really was telling the truth, he was the only one not yelling at me and truely being sensitive to what happened although he did say how I made it worse by telling people, and that I should not have told anybody , that you can't trust people. He did change for about 6months Until I started to feel confident in myself again and could speak for myself again, then he hit me worse than he did the first time I then left him for good with out telling anybody what had happened this time. I think that people can be there for Rhianna with out being so angry about what she should be doing she knows what todo and will but I keep thinking she is being pushed back to him with all the talk. As for my ex he is currently married to somebody else beating her almost monthly, get this they got married after her first beating. He promised her he would never do it again.

Arun Mehta   March 11th, 2009 1:42 pm ET

Thank you for discussing domestic violence. It is even more important to talk about violence in general. There is a lot of violence all over the world – Darfur, Iraq, etc. We need to find solutions to all sorts of violence.

United Nations has declared Gandhi's birthday, October 2nd as 'International Day of Nonviolence'. We need to start celebrating that day and put in practice what Gandhi did.

Sandra   March 11th, 2009 2:13 pm ET

From a kid perspective, about 40 years after the fact, it's interesting to me that when I talked to my Mom about what I saw on television yesterday with this interview, she doesn't have cable, that she didn't remember being hit. My dad died years ago, but that haunted him for a lifetime (does it contribute to a shorter life span?). Interesting to me that Mom doesn't remember that she had a huge black eye and swollen broken lip. And that my Grandma hated my Dad for a lifetime...and that the relatives tried to pay my Mom to leave my Dad. Interesting...forty years later...that Mom says that Dad wasn't like that. I agree...for the most part, Dad wasn't like that. They drank a little too much a few times...and all problems occurred right there. They weren't drinkers, but when they did...they really weren't very good at it. They eventually quit. But, I remember. And I would say that my brothers remember. How could you miss that? Fighting. As kids, we mostly cried in our beds. Yes, we were scared. Who would have intervened for us? Schools? Where were they? They were never there when we needed them. The whole community was in denial that things like this even happen. And that silent code perpetuated. we lived. Should we have thrown Dad away? Are men disposable? NO! We loved our Dad. Always will. Was he perfect? No. But, society didn't do much to help there either. So, does Mom have PTSD or what? She has low self-esteem for sure...subject to depression. Lived an opressed life in a male dominated world. I believe that Mom never got the help she needed. It is correct for the media to take care of the victim here. (But, which one is the victim? If you look at this close enough...there's more than one.) No question that women need help here.

I don't think I would be too quick to throw this young man away. Obviously there is a trigger there from something...and they need to go back to the original abuse and find that for him so he understands it and where it comes from...then how to deal with that sense in a healthy and more productive manner. Don't throw him away. A lot of people need to understand this part. Kids see too much, and men are socialized poorly. Schools and penal systems do nothing to help. Our society is where it is for a reason. We need to help our kids understand. Not make it worse. If you drop him will have done nothing to make this better. He needs real help...and he is representative of LOTS of kids that have seen too much. I don't know his specific case, but just looks like more history repeating itself and another area that needs change in this country. Our kids need help.

Frankie McDonald   March 11th, 2009 3:46 pm ET

I was a probation officer for six years. I remember the domestic violence probationers - and their equally dysfunctional partner/victims.
One woman bailed her husband out and was still living with him after describing to me how she sat on the sofa while he used a chainsaw to cut up the sofa up around her. Months later, the thing that seemed to upset her was how much that sofa had cost - not that he had threatened to kill her with the chainsaw and came close to making good on his threat.

Another one kept running, but she also kept telling her family where she'd gone, knowing that her we-don't-get-divorced-in-our-family mother was telling her ex-husband where she was every time and earning her a fresh rape and beating, but she wouldn't stick around long enough for his trial before running again either, so the charges never stuck.

Another one called me, all worked up, because her boyfriend was coming out of prison and she "didn't know what to do." This from the woman who dropped the charges five separate times before he committed and was convicted of an unrelated offense. I told her pointblank she was going to die because she was "too stupid to live." I also told her she knew what to do and no one was going to do it for her. And she was so shocked that I wasn't sympathetic and I really didn't seem to care anymore, she finally went to the counseling everyone had tried to send her to for years. And she started a productive life - finally.

The solution is similar to what you have to do with a drug addict. You have to separate them from their addiction. If you can break all contact between the abuser and the victim (and it has to be externally done, the victim WILL NOT do it) for six months, her odds of breaking off with the abuser are really good. In my experience, she'd always take him back after the six months, but the relationship would only continue another couple of weeks to a month. She'd apparently realize how peaceful life was without him; that she was fine without him and she was actually financially, mentally and physically better of without him. And that six months of no contact gave her the perspective between the reality of living with him versus what she'd concocted in her head. At least, that's what my former victims told me when they'd finally broken the cycle.

We keep punishing the batterer - but that's only half the equation. The victim has to be picked up by the scruff of the neck and put in long-term therapy if you're ever to break the pattern. Tough love applies.

pbarrow   March 11th, 2009 4:25 pm ET

I think that to much focus is being put on this situation. Why didn't Robin and the others come out long time ago about domestic violence. I am not upholding Chris Brown in what he has done, because I too believe that no man should use physical abuse against any woman but why must we always kill our wounded I'm more than sure he is not the first one that has done this . Why not try and talk about getting him some help in dealing with his problem, and on top of it all you celebrities can talk about this until you are blue in the face if she desides to take him back that's what it will be. You can have a habit of feeding your own egos by getting on these talk shows a filling your pockets, try and have some compassion and show some mercy because each day your feet hit the floor that's what you are given, and I don't want to look at it from another point either as an attack on a young BLACK MAN!!!!!!

Karen Crooks   March 11th, 2009 4:53 pm ET

I watched the clip posted on Larry King Live web site "Dealing with Domestic Violence." I was very impressed. The information was accurate and passionate. I have live it and nowI work with victims of domestic vioence everyday in North Central Nebraska and I also train advocates to work with victims. I wanted a copy of this broadcast to share with new abvocates as a learning tool. However when I went to Cision Video Monitoring Service that does your recordings and editing, I found it would cost our agency $150.00, our funding is limited and the cost is just out of reach for us. I thought if it were $25 for the 25 mintues plus broadcast, I would purchase it myself, but I can't afford that either. So, a wonderful broadcast, done well, with accuarte information that really needs to get out there, unfortunately it is cost prohibitive for those of us who do the work, what a shame.

ronnie patrick   March 11th, 2009 5:28 pm ET

I am a sixty six year old woman whoI lived in an abusive relationship for 16 years. I was afraid of what my husband would do to me because he had the power to do whatever he wanted to do. My husband was 14 years older than I.I have had broken fingers, broken collar bone, bloody noses , black eyes, bald spots in my hair, and I could go on and on. I was turned on by his charm, strong and I do mean strong love making, lifestyle , good looks, sharp dresser, and the list goes on and on. I was beaten just about 4 times a week for just anything. The food was to cool , to hot , to cold , not prepared just right. It was your clothes are the wrong color, or to tight. They were to loose or did not like the style. I slept to late or not late enough. I could not go out by myself. I was taken everywhere I wanted to go because I was not allowed to drive or talk on the phone. I had no friends and only socailized with him or when he took me out and that was very often. I could not go out anywhere by myself. I dare not talk back or speak up for myself. If I looked at any man it was for sure a beat down. I can go on and on but you kind of get the picture don't you. It was so bad I could not close the bathroom door when I took a bath but could crack it when I had to sit on the toilet. I had to pull my clothes off in his present and lay them on the bed. I could not put my purse away. I had to leave it on the dresser open so that he could go in it when he chooses to. He came to my job everyday and checked to be sure I was there. I lived a very sad life. I was married for 32 years before his dimise. You see I was just as sick as he was. I did not have my power to leave because I enjoyed the love making, pretty clothes, big beautiful home, nice car, parties and him being my husband because other women were attracted to him also. We both were well educated so we did things with professionals who were well educated as we were. My husband was phony for he would not assocate with anyone whom he felt was not on his level and believe me there were lots of them. My husband had a very powerful job and so because of that he was the man. After the first sixteen years he became very ill and I had to take care of him until the day he died. God has a way of working things out for the best for those who believe in the higher power. My God made me the boss and when he died he left me very well off thanks to my God. I have been blessed coming and going. I have remarried and I now know what it is to be loved and take ncare of in a very normal way. I know what married life is all about. Today I tell young women if you are abused in your relationship leave and never stay in a relationship with a man that takes your power and beats you. Everyone in our town knew what a sad life I had and that I stayed in that relationship and they did not respect me. Don't let that happen to you and you.

Tim Martins   March 11th, 2009 6:11 pm ET

It's really funny how there isn't a single story about abusive women. I guess it's not important, or it doesn't count. I hate to see abused women, but I also hate to see women not taking credit for ANYTHING. You all ain't innocent!! And all you women perpetrating like you're all innocent victims are sad. We should get men to start a forum on how many times they've been falsely accused by women who were taking advantage of a tilted system, how many times they've been arrested falsely, and so on. Pathetic. Maybe that's why women need to be controlled, because they're so conniving, needy, and so so used to playing victims in the society we currently live in. You're not fooling anybody.
There are some women who have been abused out there, just as there ared men who get abused. To speak about one side and have absolutely nothing to say about the other iis a sign of something grossly wrong. I guess nobody here can smell the dead rat in the room.

Kelli from Tampa   March 11th, 2009 7:58 pm ET

"Maybe that's why women need to be controlled" Tim Martins, go back into the hole from which you have risen.

michelle   March 11th, 2009 7:59 pm ET

Chris Brown has been crucified enough, he is a TEENAGE boy and he needs help, guidance, support and advice.
All these stars need to stop coming out and telling their stories, Chris is not the poster child for domestic violence.
Rihanna played her part in this too and there are males that are abused too, no one is highlighting that.

I am trying to get Rihanna and Chris Brown's record companies to get them out of the studio and into counselling and anger management classes. They do not need to be focusing on their careers right now, they need to get help. Please contact their record companies to encourage them to intervene. These young people need our support not more criticism.

michelle   March 11th, 2009 8:07 pm ET

Sorry but people saying that if a man hits you once, he will hit you again are lumping all men in the same basket.

I know 2 men who did it once and never did it again.
Chris Brown is a kid and he was raised in a violent home and he needs help not people judging him, threatening him and saying he will do it again.
He is a good kid and 6 weeks ago everyone loved him, he was the positive happy-go-lucky boy next door.
Don't throw this boy on the scrap heap, reach out to help him.

I have emailed his record company, management and every news network to ask them to help this damaged boy instead of letting him continue with a career which is probably over and stop the negative comments about him.

michelle   March 11th, 2009 8:12 pm ET

please contact def jam (Rihanna's label) and jive records (Chris's label) to get them to shut down the studio and get these two young damaged people into counselling now.

These record labels are too greedy and care little for their artists well being.

No Excuses   March 11th, 2009 10:14 pm ET

Chris Brown is stronger than Ri and there is no excuse for him to beat her like he did. A man who beats on a woman is very weak and has low self-esteem. A man that beats on a woman has issue with women and i think all this behavior starts with his relationship with his mother. I had been in an abusive relationship when I wa 18 years old until I was 22 years old. My teenage boyfriend is still abusive with his wife and I am now 36 years old. Chris Brown is an adult and he knows the difference between right and wrong.
I strongly believe once a man is quick to beat a woman, he will always be an abuser unless he gets psychological therapy for a very long time. I have always noticed that abusive men never attack or beat up on other men but women.

sylvie shene   March 11th, 2009 10:37 pm ET

by Alice Miller

The Roots of Violence are NOT Unknown
The misled brain and the banned emotions

The Facts:

1. The development of the human brain is use-dependent. The brain develops its structure in the first four years of life, depending on the experiences the environment offers the child. The brain of a child who has mostly loving experiences will develop differently from the brain of a child who has been treated cruelly.

2. Almost all children on our planet are beaten in the first years of their lives. They learn from the start violence, and this lesson is wired into their developing brains. No child is ever born violent. Violence is NOT genetic, it exists because beaten children use, in their adult lives, the lesson that their brains have learned.

3. As beaten children are not allowed to defend themselves, they must suppress their anger and rage against their parents who have humiliated them, killed their inborn empathy, and insulted their dignity. They will take out this rage later, as adults, on scapegoats, mostly on their own children. Deprived of empathy, some of them will direct their anger against themselves (in eating disorders, drug addiction, depression etc.), or against other adults (in wars, terrorism, delinquency etc.)

Questions and Answers:

Q: Parents beat their children without a second thought, to make them obedient. Nobody, except a very small minority, protests against this dangerous habit. Why is the logical sequence (from being a misled victim to becoming a misleading perpetrator) totally ignored world-wide? Why have even the Popes, responsible for the moral behaviour of many millions of believers, until now never informed them that beating children is a crime?

A: Because almost ALL of us were beaten, and we had to learn very early that these cruel acts were normal, harmless, and even good for us. Nobody ever told us that they were crimes against humanity. The wrong, immoral, and absurd lesson was wired into our developing brains, and this explains the emotional blindness governing our world.

Q: Can we free ourselves from the emotional blindness we developed in childhood?

A: We can – at least to some degree – liberate ourselves from this blindness by daring to feel our repressed emotions, including our fear and forbidden rage against our parents who had often scared us to death for periods of many years, which should have been the most beautiful years of our lives. We can't retrieve those years. But thanks to facing our truth we can transform ourselves from the children who still live in us full of fear and denial into responsible, well informed adults who regained their empathy, so early stolen from them. By becoming feeling persons we can no longer deny that beating children is a criminal act that should be forbidden on the whole planet.


Caring for the emotional needs of our children means more than giving them a happy childhood. It means to enable the brains of the future adults to function in a healthy, rational way, free from perversion and madness. Being forced to learn in childhood that hitting children is a blessing for them is a most absurd, confusing lesson, one with the most dangerous consequences: This lesson as such, together with being cut off from the true emotions, creates the roots of violence.

© 2009 Alice Miller

Alicia   March 11th, 2009 11:35 pm ET

I would like to say 1st Good to You for getting out of your really bad situation. I don't think it's fair to relate this boy to O.J. and Tyson. This is a young troubled boy who in this time need more guidance and less cruicification. You all act like the boy beat her to death, I'm not excusing what he did but I do believe in rehabilitation. The way everyone is acting makes me want to go an comment suicide for him or kill someone. This is starting to be to much. I never heard of it being a crime to forgive, not forget but to also heal. Can they have time and the space to heal. They are young and speaking from personal experiecne NO IT'S NOT TRUE IF HE HITS YOU ONCE HE WILL HIT YOU AGAIN. I have lived through it to say my now fiance has hit me in the past we had support and as a family and comminuty we have healed and grown so much from that experience. We are happy with four kids and he hasn't touched me in a unwanted way in 4 yrs. He also grew up with it in the home and matter of fact so did I but that doesn't mean people can't change. Holla Back Oh yeah I'm going to be wrighting Oprah too.

ursula   March 12th, 2009 12:48 am ET

so many victims & so many abusers out there, sad.

jeff   March 12th, 2009 1:38 am ET


chris   March 12th, 2009 8:14 am ET

Whether or not either chose to be the "poster child" they are now. The national statistic is that it takes 7 attempts for a woman to leave an abusive situation. They both need counseling and what we can do to aid them is understand in our mental health field that with social services, the male is often told that he must complete Domestic Violence counseling as well as anger managerment. One has nothing to do with the other. Chris is suffering, not necesserarly from anger issues, but but definately from domestic violence issues. The male brain does not completely finish growing until the age of 25 and that is without the influence of drugs and alcohol. Both of these children were put in the stop light because of their abilities and now as a community, we need to take the opportunity not just to educate our children at home, but aid the legal system in changes that make it eaiser for women in society to leave an abusive situation, get the help they need and get on with their live. We need to aid the male in getting the help that he needs and not just medicate everyone.

michelle   March 12th, 2009 11:59 am ET


You're comment is unhelpful and immature. Grow up.

michelle   March 13th, 2009 3:53 am ET

Oprah did a show on women abusing men a few years ago, it is infact more common than men abusing women.
The media have only shown one side of this story and left out the details about Rihanna attacking Chris on several occasions.

There is a petition on 'petition online' to highlight this problem titled:

Rihanna's Abuse Should Not Go Unmentioned

Please sign the petition.

Tim Martins   March 13th, 2009 1:30 pm ET

Kelli from Tampa. U mean the same hole you currently reside in right now? Grow up fool.

America sure is funny, and not very smart. That explains the bad shape this country got itself into. People aren't just that smart over here anymore. Isn't this the land that voted the worst president ever in twice? Nuff said.

Look at the phenomenom we currently have. Now everytime I put the damn TV on, some woman is talking about how she's been abused. Look at the case of the nurse athat was accused of killing her husband- it ended in a mistrial yesterday. Both men and women can't get their brains around the fact that women aren't any different from men and are possibly more capable of abuse and murder. Their fall-back card when caught red-handed is to claim that they were abused by the man they murdered. Look at the NFL player who got stabbed in the neck by his girlfriend. How many times are men slapped or hit by women who think that hitting a man is okay? Do you want to do a study of comparable offenses by men and women and their alloted sentences ? A lot of women just need to shut up.

The truth about Chris Brown and Rihanna is simple. They are both kids incapable of handling the emotions of a relationship. Period. They are 19 and 18 respectively, now they have Lamborghinis and a grown up relationship! Chris Brown is NOT an abuser. He's a very capable and talented black man who worked hard to get to where he is, an until recently, was EXTREMELY well-behaved. A gentleman by every standard. And you want to throw him away? Are you all crazy as well as stupid (some of u)?
The poor kid hasn't even bothered to say what Rihannna did, and I commend him on that. How can you all jump to conclusions that he is guilty on ONE version accorded to police by the alleged victim? Wait until you ever have to deal with a police investigation and see how interested they are in presenting the truth. Just wait. You have plenty of time. I actually understand his rage about her pretending to call the cops, and you can ONLY understand that if you're a black male. Period.
He just needs a lesson on how to try to take the high road, not some penal system. Screw you all.

REALLY a DV SURVIVOR   March 13th, 2009 2:57 pm ET

Wow....sounds like maybe you have been 'unjustly' accused? Is that where all that anger is coming from? There MAY BE some MEN AND WOMEN out there who DO use the system....I for one am a TRUE survivor of high and aggravated domestic violence....NO KIDDING as hard as that may be REALLY to have you believe. My then husband now exhusband was a very well educated man, a white man, whom I trusted fully, and never believed or wanted to believe that he, an exMarine would hurt me, much less try to kill me. I, REALLY didn't do a thing to provoke him....maybe not sitting at the right spot of the table, hence not at the head of the table, or being a self sufficing woman, with a mind of my own 'provoked him'. Your VERSION also isn't true. The laws of domestic violence need to be adjusted. I give you that. No man nor woman should strike the other. Regardless. Rihanna and Chris seem in only my opinion to both have HUGE anger issues. I commend Chris, if rumors are true, for him seeking counseling. My then husband went to the REQUIRED counseling that our state mandates for domestic violence...he was rightly sentenced to prison for his crimes of almost killing me, breaking house phones, cells phones, interferring with a 911 call, and child abuse, due to there being 4 children in the house when this happened. I am very proud to be a survivor and to stand up for myself. I agree the laws need to change. Women do abuse men. That is not right either. Both genders should get the same punishment for their crimes they have committed.

Tim Martins   March 13th, 2009 5:16 pm ET

Really a DV Survivor. I wish I had a real name to call u regardless of whether it was real or not.

First of all, I find it hard to sympathize with you when your first reaction to intelligent discourse, albeit a contrast to your view somewhat, is to automatically try to devalue it by calling it angry, and by putting the word unjust in quotation marks. I take it you have no knowledge what being black and male is all about. You think it's about being "angry", and that is an immensely simplistic and convenient view to take.

I come from a very successful family, and I was raised way better than the average kid today. I am in a successful career and marriage, and my view, about the tilted justice system is not trivialized just because an alleged victim of domestic abuse says so. While you might've been truly abused in your relationship, the same is not neccesarily so of many females perpetrating and posing as victims. That's a fact. The male part of the human race didn't become abusers because gold diggers and spoilt women, many of whom are abusers themselves, said so. And because many males are subceptible to pleasing women, and get off at trying to appear a fighter for several womens' causes, doesn't make men abusers. Many women aren't even aware of just how abusive they are, and folk like you don't make it any better.

Thanks for acknowledging that the justice system is supremely tilted towards women as is evidenced by the lack of men and women on this site who say nothing about domestic abuse by women, and by the men who chivalrous as ever, choose not to report it. It's not that big of a topic, but it's equally wrong. Not almost, equally. I think you'd agree that domestic abuse by women is negligently advocated for here, and all over the news media. It's like saying you'd get the heads portion side of a tossed-up coin 100% of the time. It's impossible. SO let's get rid of the myth. THAT'S my point. Let's respect men for once, instead of constantly accusing them for everything, from chauvinism to bad weather. Let's even get rid of the myth that EVERY case of domestic abuse can't be rehabilited. Let's stop using a young couple whose knowledge of relationships is extremely limited as the poster child for the campaign against domestic abuse for some, and men for others. Their combined age is barely over 30. How great was YOUR first relationship? How mature was it? Yeah. Right.

BOTH sexes can equally learn how to communicate effectively and how to treat each other. People predisposed to violence, irregardless of sex, should be counseled, and then punished IF appropriate. Indiscriminate sentences to prison terms for young black men who DON"T fit the mould of a predisposition to violence against women is counterproductive. Find another poster child or children. That's exactly what they are.

Tim Martins   March 13th, 2009 7:15 pm ET

To Sylvie Shine who quoted Alice Miller, about how it's a crime to beat your kids? Completely irrelevant, and forgive me for saying this, I'm almost certain you're white. The ills if spoilt children are well documented, but that's a totally different story. Black culture doesn't allow for backtalking from one's seed. Sorry it isn't the same in your culture.

Camille   March 13th, 2009 8:02 pm ET

Bravo Chris!

I don't think most people don't realize that the brain isn't fully developed until age 25.
I bet statistically the average abusive relationship starts when people are around the age of 20 to 25.
If Rihanna were 17, people would understand her decision is partly out of immaturity. Of course this can only be one tiny part of the problem. The real answer is more complex. I think the answer is out there.

There was a point in time when our society didn't even use the word domestic violence. It was acceptable to beat your wife. Now our society has evolved into a greater understanding and we need to learn how meet this new challenge.

I hope this becomes an opportunity to educate. Their is a population of boys just ripe from watching abusive parental relationships. As a society are we preparing ourselves to help them before someone is hurt.

Camille   March 13th, 2009 8:22 pm ET


Their is a population of boys/girls just ripe from watching abusive parental relationships.

june   March 14th, 2009 1:41 pm ET

I agree with Ben and abused husband, I saw this happen to my brother and his children. The wife was the abuser and she falsely accused my brother of it, he now has a record, which because of it he cannot find a place to live, he has lost his job and his home. She continues to get away with lies and abuse even ten years after their divorce. She got out of paying child support, my brother has full custody, she didn't want her kids they got in her way, she broke the arm of one of them and got away with it. She not only abused her family, but was running around with different men. Stealing money from the home and bouncing checks and the list goes on, Judge does nothing to her. her oldest son ended up in the hospital ready to kill himself, told the doctor that his mother abused him and she even held him hostage over the summer, apparently because she is a woman she can do whatever she wants, the law does not pertain to her. She was ordered by the court to keep medical insurance on the kids and she cancelled it, when she did have it on, the checks would be sent to her and instead of paying the doctors she cashed the checks and spent the money, got away with that too.

Michelle   March 15th, 2009 12:08 pm ET


That's why I'm so fed up of the media especially Oprah and Tyra pushing their personal stories to get more ratings and look like they really care about Rihanna and Chris.

Oprah is a very powerful woman, why doesn't she get RIhanna or Chris's cell phone number or call their managers and invite them down to her house, invite some of her experts down and sit and talk to them, Instead of going on TV and saying "He will hit you again"

Does Oprah not realise that this is a teenage boy she is talking about and a teenage boy who has always been polite, postive and respectful.
He was not singing explicit songs or dancing around with half naked women in his videos and he had no criminal record and NO ONE EVER HAD A BAD WORD TO SAY ABOUT HIM.

I hope when this case is over Chris Brown's mother and father call Oprah up and talk to her about labelling their son a serial abuser when she has never met him and knows very little about him.




I have read Rihanna's statement and looked at the photo and there are too many holes which need filling.

I have had experience of domestic violence and I have seen women who have set up their partners and the police always always believe the woman.

Tim Martins   March 18th, 2009 11:19 am ET

Well said Michelle.

june   March 19th, 2009 8:32 am ET

I agree, all the woman has to do is call the police and file false charges, they do not investage at all, Ex sister in law did just that, because she wanted her husband and kids out of the home so she could move in with her current boyfriend. Police came, while he was in the middle of fixing dinner for his children dragged him outside and took him away, One child had a broken arm, which the mother broke, and the kids told the cops that mom broke it, but they didn't care. Neighbors next door said dad went out one door and boyfriend moved in the other door. She is still causing trouble for them, I think her goal in life is to make their life miserable. He has reports from babysitters and teachers and doctors regarding his ex but the judge could have cared less, she was a woman and they took her word. I wish Larry King and Oprah would do a program on female abusers, it would be an eye opener for those in court. I would love for the person I know to take a lie detector test and put her away where she belongs, because she is a very evil person. Dr. Phil should do a program on this, it would be very interesting.

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