March 14, 2009

Saturday's LKL: "Why Women Stay"

Posted: 02:42 PM ET

Tonight, Oprah spoke out on it this week.  Now, Joy Behar, Robin Givens and Denise Brown bring domestic abuse out in the open.  artrihannagramgi Our panel talks about why women stay in abusive relationships.  And, they have a warning for Rihanna:  If it happens once – it'll happen again.

Women who know – tonight on Larry King Live, 9 p.m., ET!

Also, check out our exclusive LKL Blog commentary on domestic violence from Tanya Brown, the younger sister of the late Nicole Brown Simpson.  It's HERE!

As always:

1) Stay on topic.
2) Keep it short
3) No curse words

4) No links

5) Use a name (no initials or screen names)

Filed under: Larry King Live • Rihanna

Share this on:
Joe G. (Illinois)   March 14th, 2009 4:13 pm ET

Maybe a lesson to be learned is that: When people step into the ring with the Devil they always seem to think that just because they are evil themselves (Against God) that they will have it nice and comfy. They couldn’t be any more wrong.. People choose their friends and lovers wisely based on what their conscience tells them. Greed; Vanity; who knows what else is going on..

Gail Miller   March 14th, 2009 7:23 pm ET

Everyone should read a book called Battered Wife Syndrome written by Dr. Lenore Walker. I met her in the mid-80's when I worked for a defense attorney representing a battered wife who killed her husband. The book is a "must read".

Elle Bennett   March 14th, 2009 7:53 pm ET

People stay because they are afraid. I had a fellow teacher try to strangle me after I confronted him regarding rumours of him having sex with a married female coach he worked with at the same time he was seeing me. I was lead to believe that I was leaving the school on good terms. I found out years later that I was set up because the assistant principal who said I could use her for a referral was giving me bad referrals. The abuser got an excellent review to take to UT where he has been working for 15 years as a coach.

Sam   March 14th, 2009 8:16 pm ET

Larry, I think you need to visit Oprah.

Meg   March 14th, 2009 8:31 pm ET

To Joe G:(Illinois)

I think your statement is incorrect. Women do not step into domestic violence by choice. It is something that just happens, usually to them. Typically, their relationship is great in the beginning and then, goes down hill. When this happens, the man has already conditioned his future victim to "not believe" what is happening to her. ie, she is blindsided by his abuse. It is a very scary thing to live in; domesic violence. It is indeed a strange phenomena; women going back to their abusers. Abused women stay in bad relationships for a zillion different reasons. Many times they do not want to be there; they just are. Once they become entrenced with an abuser, it is very difficult to get out The abuser deliberately weaves a web of deciet that which his victim usually does not see nor understand. I know that which I speak of, because I too am one of those women. We are not stupid and insecure; we are afraid! We live in Fear. Fear of admitting our mistakes. Fear of admitting the truth. Fear of the abuser stalking us as we attempt to leave; Fear we will have no future due to all the emotional and psychological damage. Fear that our children will suffer more when we are faced with living in potential poverty. Fear of our abuser killing us. Fortunately, I am no longer hopeless and helpless. I have educated myself on this topic; I have called the experts for help; and I have learned much. My daughter loves her father... yes, the abuser. He treates her like royalty and is constantly creating a wedge in between the two of us. I have stayed to fight for my own rights and the rights for my daughter. I would never let her down. I stay to protect her and defend myself. Albeit, he is not a physical abuser but rather an emotional abuser and I really do not put up with his behavior anymore. He has crossed the line once and got away with it but that will never happen again. I will not tolerate physical abuse and I plan to report him if it ever happens again. And, my husband knows that and he knows I am not joking! He either shapes up or I am shipping out!

Beth   March 14th, 2009 9:20 pm ET

Abuse goes in cycles. There is the abuse phase, the honeymoon phase, then the tension building phase which often gets so bad the person being abused just wishes that the violence would go ahead and happen so they could get back to "normal". I was in an abusive marriage for 15 years. I wanted to say this about why women stay in abuse. I know from my own experience many women stay because they are afraid to leave. It's not because they want to stay or believe they can change the person they are with. Statistics show that more than 3 women are killed each day by their spouse, and women who are in an abusive relationship are at the most danger of being killed when they actually leave. According to some websites, 75% of domestic homicides happen when the women tries to leave. Sometimes you just feel safer to stay.

Whitty   March 14th, 2009 9:24 pm ET

I have had a friendship/relationship with a service member in the Army who was deployed the majority of the past 8 years we have known one another. He came home almost a year ago now and I have been emotionally abused – psychologically abused for just about the past year, without stop. The manipulation was that I felt sorry for him – him, being lost upon his return from war. I have censored our relationship almost a week now and the torment and emotional trauma of ending this relationship is almost as bad as the abuse was itself. NO WOMAN can ESCAPE without assistance. I am in the process of seeking psychological counseling as this relationship has inflicted me with Major Depressive Disorder as a result. I have been fortunate that he lives in a different state than I do but I had to disconnect his ability to contact me by phone...changing all my numbers...he was never physically violent to me but that perhaps may have been easier than the emotional abuse.

Whitty   March 14th, 2009 9:27 pm ET

Trust me: women stay because their emotions are conditioned to stay based upon sympathy and affection for the abuser; the relationship becomes almost a drug – hard to give up – especially when you love someone. It's just not that clear to walk away sometimes. The hardest part isn't ending the abuse – it's dealing with the death of a relationship and realizing the end is necessary to save yourself.

Andrea   March 14th, 2009 9:27 pm ET

I was 18-24..going back and forth with my daughter..I always went back because I always felt in control of the situation..for about a month sometimes 2-3 months or more I was put on a pedestal..what's weird all thebegging to come back and as soon as I would drive 1500 miles to go back and as soon as I would be back..I was already planning my escape!
The last beating i had put me in the hospital..the nrxt after that woulf have been death! Please put a list of escape for woman to be prepared to leave when can..
I am now 34 and remarried to a great guy in the military.

Sylvern   March 14th, 2009 9:30 pm ET

I don't believe that was the first time he hit her. I have the feeling he hit her before but it wasn't as serious as what he did to her in the car that day.

Shirah Penn   March 14th, 2009 9:31 pm ET

My two cents about the Rihanna -Chris Brown debacle. As a victim of an abuser it took me many years of therapy to realize how I contribute to the situation. When I started lovingmyself more I was empowered to get out of the relationship. Although Chris Brown needs consequences and counseling, Rihanna needs to learn about her personal power. I really recommend she takes a workshop or a wonderful seminar called Insight. Love Gramma Shirah

Beth   March 14th, 2009 9:32 pm ET

Whitley. Emotional abuse is very damaging to women also. It's all about control. He obviously has some issues he needs to work through, perhaps because of the war, but you can't save him. You have to save you. It's up to him to get the help he needs to stop the way he treats you or women in general. I'm glad to hear that you have chosen to make a clean break so that you can get the help and counseling you need. I will say that often abuse starts out as emotional and verbal abuse, then turns into physical abuse. I hope you have good support system that will help you through this difficult time.

Pam   March 14th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

I am a survivor of date rape, spousal abuse and domestic violence. I have not spoken out because the authorities refused to believe me. I was raped on active duty in the Army and they refused to investigate also. No one is talking about rape on active duty. And the female soldiers are being raped whether we are at WAR or not. Why does this only come up when a female soldier is left in a hotel to die alone or buried in her rapists back yard?

Cansery Mwangi   March 14th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

Hae Larry.
Thankyou for this topic about domestic violence.I grew up in Kenya where i experience physical emotion abuse almost each day of my father towards my mother.I lived in fear each day because my father always sweared to kill my mother.I decided to get married to get out of the situition that was never changing each day.Till now i get nightmares of what i witnessed as a kid towards my mom.Its sad that my mother did not live the marriage which she still get abuse at a ld age.The kenyan government is horrible in dealing with these issues.Am planning to get my mom and stay with her when i go back to Kenya in June after am done with my studies in the USA

eldon bloedorn   March 14th, 2009 9:36 pm ET

There is no question that abusive relationships exist. We say Relationship because it cannot be called a friendship. Here is the great American farce. We progress from a "in love " friendship. Then liike a clear bottle of water, if someone or both parties drop a little cake coloring into the water, the water is no long pure in color.. So, the once friendship turns into a "relationship." Now, in this era, the males take the hit if and when things go sour. Years ago, in the "Blondie and Dagwood" comic series, when Dagwood got out of line, Bolndie "whacked" him over the head with a rolling pin. This "lump on his head" was clearly shown in the comic series by Chic Young. We forget that we had a society that was a bit more honest a few decades when the "relationship" went sour. A great comic once said, " the Communists did not invent psychological warfare my wife did." We forget, some abusive women use psychological warfare against their partner. Society ignores this. But, still not a reason to hit a woman.

Janette   March 14th, 2009 9:37 pm ET

My father beat my mother to death with 9 broken ribs in 1958. My brother and I grew up very dysfunctional. I had several abusive relationships. The pain is a cycle. It has no predjuices for color or wealth nor education. It needs to be discussed more. I could of become a much better person in life if I did not live it running from that big black dog chasing me....I went to counseling many years of my life. You never get over it and eventually you see the signs. Women want to fix them. We want to feel special!!! We need to get it out of the closet, men need to be taught to take out there insecurties on something more positive.

Philia   March 14th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

I'd like to thank the pannel...I am a survivor..and as such-it is imperative that we keep allowing US to have a voice!!! I am still afraid of my husband. Mrs Bob Lee

jose Charlie   March 14th, 2009 9:40 pm ET

I have a sister who is a victim of domestic violence and she has finally wised up and left. She along with her family were living with my parents and a sister and her husband put division in the house, one family against the other. She was being beaten and they suspected but never really had confirmation. My parents finally left the apartment and he had her stay away from the entire family. He even had her call me back after I called for her birthday and said he asked me not to call his house again for any reason. But she's out, and Robin is right, he's still trying to get her to come back to him, crying like a baby. But thank God she now has her family's support, and it's a year now and she's standing firm.

Beth   March 14th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

Well, I can't speak for everyone because every situation is different. I only know my own story. I knew that I needed out years before I finally got out. Statistics show that a woman leaves an average of 7 times before she finally leaves for good. That was me. I'd leave and he'd beg me back. Things would be okay for a few months and then gradually the violence would start again. I left him several times, but had no support system. When I finally left for good I was so afraid that I hid from him for a month. I truly believe that if he had found me he would have killed me. Since our divorce he has been with other women, all of whom he has beaten even worse than he did me.

Amanda   March 14th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

I think the wrong message is being sent. It is not true that if they hit you once they will hit you again. That is telling people that an abuser can't get help and that is not true. I grew up in an abusive family, just like Chris, and that is how I turned out to be. I learned to deal with my anger by hitting other people. Thank God that I had a very understanding man who loved me enough to stick by me. I am now 22 years old and I have learned to cope with my anger in a much better way. I have not used violence on myself or anyone else in over a year. Chris can get through with this with the support of Rihanna and with the support of others. Hang in there Chris and Rihanna. I have faith that you can do it.

Sue in California   March 14th, 2009 9:43 pm ET

My heart is beating so hard right now. My abuse was 20 years ago and I got out but the fear will always be there. I wish that everyone that is being abused was watching right now. That can't happen but would help so many women ( and men) who keep fooling themselves it will get better and in some way it's partialy their fault. I just told my husband, 'my jaw really hurts right now just thinking about it'! We need to get the word out there in every medium to help those that are too afraid to talk or move for fear of more hurt or worse! Thank God for my Mom who helped me get out. Some people have no one. We need to give them someone to talk to and get the help.

Ronald   March 14th, 2009 9:43 pm ET

I was watching the show and somehow i was not supprised that it still happens. As a man i notice that a lot of the girls only look at the pack and not whats on the inside even though a lot ( majority ) of the girls says it isn't true. In my surroundings, a lot of the girlfriends are hit by theyre man and get a lot of abuse. Why is it that the girls keep looking or even going back to the guy with a sixpack and some loose hands?

Girls, a nice package isn't a succes for a good relationship. And as everyone say, he hit you once? He WILL hit you again! And mentaly it is a lot worse. Sometimes i shame myself for being a man, just for what some of the "man" are saying they stand for. A real man stands by his girl and not on them!

In my relationship, i only hit my girl once but this wasn't something i was proud off. She was abusing drugs and had borderline syndrome. In a flash, she wanted to cut herself. To prevent that, i tried to get the knife out of her hands and as a last resort, i did hit her. In that confusing time i was able to get that knife. In this case you could hit her, but don't ever be proud of it! It did make me sick and i was feeling guilty and even when she said "thank you for that" i didn't feel good about it. That was the only time i did hit a girl.

Hitting your lady doesn't make you "a real man", it makes you a loser!

Pam   March 14th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

I agree with Victor Rivers, he is a young man and he can be helped. More young men need counseling for the things that they have to endure when they come from a domestic violence household. This is truly a way for a young man to become a real man and stand up and take responsibility for his own actions. He can still be a positive role model and set the example by taking his punishment for the assault that he put on Rihanna. Makes me ask how a beautiful intelligent woman can't look in the mirror and see that this is NOT LOVE!

mikie   March 14th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

Once again we are letting the media take control and make money!! We DO NOT No WHAT HAPPENED! I was brought up by a abusive mother who hit my stepfather thats how she handled things.As I became older and started getting into relationships and got in to situations I would hit throw things.I don't no Chris Brown and don't even listen to his music but he was brought up this way also.MAYBE at one point he just had enough and struck back.Is it RIGHT NOOOO.
But as a community we need to educate everbody not just the MAn Any body who hits is WRONG..EDUCATE EVERYBODY!!!

Darlene   March 14th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

The clip where diddy is saying that we all don't know what happened in the car, so we shouldn't judge, but we do have the pictures of the after math of the fight and the only one that looks like they got hurt was Riannna. For diddy to say something like that is almost to validate that there was a reason for that type of abuse to take place in the first place. I am a victim of abuse a survivor, still surviving after 10 years like Robin says it never leaves you even after the scares do. So many years of public abuse and still we seem so far behind do something to stop it from happening or taking action agianst this once and for all.

Sandra Dee Radford   March 14th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

Domestic violence has shaken the very foundation of my family. On June 21, 2008 my daughter was shot and killed by her son's father in Indianapolis, Indiana. Watasha Clark, my daughter, was only 29 and had been abused by him for many years and there was nothing we could do. We would contact law officials and were told there was nothing they could do. There is definitely a sort of disease going on where the women feel guilty or scared to report or press charges on their abusers especially when children are involved. My daughter was no longer with this man, however his jealousy never ended. I am now the president of the Watasha Radford Clark Organization Inc. and trying to get the facts out and trying to help other women get out before it gets too far. Never go back to a man that hits you. It will only end in one of two ways, jail, death, or both. The man will not stop and the problem only gets worse. We are having a domestic awareness/memorial May 14th the birthday of my deceased daughter. We will be honoring her and educating the community about domestic violence and how to seek help.

V..D. SMITH   March 14th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

Why so much interest in violence in America now? Because it is a person in show business? Because I don't hear this same daily conversation regarding violence when we kill hundreds of innocent women in the Middle East. Our society needs to realize that men and women communicate differently, ask any anthropologist, and that's where we need to start to try a dialog. Also last week you mentioned that four women were killed daily, well over four hundred people are killed daily in this country, so am I to be concerned only about the four, and the heck with the men. I don't think so.

Christine Taylor   March 14th, 2009 9:46 pm ET

I feel that sexual assualt should be mentioned as part of Domestic Violence as well as the verbal, emotional and physical abuse that takes place.

Kristen Angeline   March 14th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

Right after I married my husband, active duty Navy, he strangled me in the car. He apologized and tried to tell me things would get better. The sad thing is I am still married and stupid enough to have stayed these past three years; it has only been the same thing off and on. I am sitting here crying because you are very right about the PTSD, about the "silent code" (his military brothers), the demoralizing of your character, and WALKING ON EGGSHELLS EVERYDAY. The emotional issues is probably the biggest reason why I am still here. I am TRYING to leave... but with no jobs, no money...

Just want to say THANK you for having Mr. Victor on the show.

kap   March 14th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

As we human beings continue to exist on this earth, so will the domestic violence. Human beings are not perfect. Its near impossible to live an optimal live. I am not justifying any in humane acts but lets face it; it takes two to tango...

women fighting for women   March 14th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

this topic of abuse has now become a life style for women. i am a surivor and blessed to be alive when i should by all acounts be dead. god woke me up from the blinding spell i was under. currently i am writing book a memior of almost four years of my journey of physical, emotional, and mental abuse. the state of fla does not have a strong deterant for this act of violence is not a felony. it is a slap on the wrist and a joke. ive started a petition for repeat offenders the third time it becomes a felony. i plan to go to the highest court in the state of fla to change this for domestic violence laws set and done. the man who abused me got away with this crime 5 times. they dont change i know i lived it. women need to love themselfs and have selfesteem for this lifestyle of abuse to change. thankyou, sincerely tina barker, founder of women fighting for women.

Janet Johannsen   March 14th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

My son is 12 yrs. old. I bought him a Chris Brown poster for Christmas. I have been planning to tell him it's time to take it down. When I finally brought it up, he said "I already did". He and friends at school really look down on Chris Brown. I was so proud of him. Chris Brown needs to do the right thing; he has a great opportunity before him. He can get treatment and show other abusers how to do the same . . . . . then we can accept him again.

Philia   March 14th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

What will it take? Another death? Gratefully-main stream media is listening. THANK YOU! My husband almost killed me and -gratefully I am alive-today-now! Having the side of my head smashed in –is not LOVE!

john christopher   March 14th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

One of the things that Barack Obama keeps focusing on is that human problems are connected to each other whether they involve economic or domestic abuses.

Why is it that humans have this arrogant notion that they are not part of nature, but separate and above nature?

We stand up and cheer institutionalized violence everyday. We have affirmed violence, abuse and exploitation throughout our history.

We have glorified war, sensationalized murder and genocide.

Domestic violence is an example of our massive failure to treat our fellow men and women with respect and dignity. And we are getting worse. Animals treat each other much better.

In fact, we are not truly civilized.

Sandra Dee Radford   March 14th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

Education is crucial, the main problem is however, that states and courts are not on the side fully of the battered. They do not count domestic violence as a high priority which I was told by a state prosecutor. If the justice system would step up then domestic violence would not dominate as it does now.

Amanda   March 14th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

V.D, I think you have a great quesiton. You never hear anyone talk about domestic violence or much of anything else unless a famous person is involved. I hate that this happened to Rihanna but what makes her any more special than the other women or men who are a victim of domestic violence? I think that we need to leave this up to them to figure out. It's a private matter and they should be able to work it out amongst themselves and the media should stop talking about how she is wrong to go back to him and he will do it again. He can get help. If she truly loves him she will give him that chance, and if he truly loves her he will get the help he needs. Quit talking about Rihanna's attack and start talking about domestic violence in general. It affects people that aren't famous too.

Beth   March 14th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

Sandra Dee. I'm so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine your pain. Your story proves just what I was saying: that many women are at a great risk of being killed even after they have ended their relationship. How can I help you with your organization?

Sam Ayer, Marlboro, NJ   March 14th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

In your conversation, please do mention that there are abusive situations where the woman is the aggressor, and the man tends not to raise a hand on the woman. And since it isn't cool to admit it, they just grin and bear it. Sure, it's nowhere near what women go through, but please do remember it's not always one-way.

Sam, NJ

bry   March 14th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

when i was 6 my mom left my father , and a new guy entered our lives , what i remember most are the screams and the blood , i didnt know he was raping her because i was to young to realize it , but i saw and heard that untill i was a teen ,. He beat us too, me and my younger brother . .It goes on every day !it's Americas big secret .no one did any thing to stop it either ,NO ONE!! Not tthe relitives , my father , the poeple nexdoors , the cops , the school , no one .

desiree   March 14th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

I have been there...I am a survior of abuse....but recently I am yet again a victim...people keep asking, why do you stay??? why do you keep choosing the same type of man??? Simple. It is what you know, it is comfortable...and matter how good it STILL uncomfortable...change FEELS different...we as humans are creatures of habit...

Tyesha   March 14th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

There are 2 sides and both sides need therapy.

Darlene in Alberta Canada   March 14th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

Yes make it a crime, then a man will think twice about killing or abusing a women or a child or anyone ! There needs to be a Global International Criminal Code in place or awaking to stop the slauter and violence against all women and children all over the world. I don't want to wake up and again read about some women or child that is dead because we forget about this as new things come into the news. Please keep this talk going till we turn the cycle around!

Roberta Guerrero   March 14th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

Abuse against women includes infidelity. Much of what your panelists tonight are describing about why women stay in abusive relationships is universal. Men think they can do whatever they liketo their "property". I stayed in such an abusive relationship for 35 years because I loved him, I thought I could "change" him. With role models as my guide (my mother-in-law, my husband's aunties, and even a former First Lady) I thought it was my duty to "stand by my man" for better or worse I finally left because I didn't want the cycle to continue, to teach my sons by example that it was just okay to have a wife, a mistress and a girlfriend.

I urge all young women in any type of abusive relationship, emotional, sexual or violent, and perhaps all three, to leave before you lose yourself. Love is action, never words. We owe iet to our children.

Steven   March 14th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

As a man, I have no respect for men like Chris Brown who beat their significant others. I think that he is scum and that Rihanna is foolish for going back to him.

At the same time, however, there is this culture of sexism that goes both ways. Women are always the victims, and men are always the aggressors. This is simply not the case. When a man hits a woman, be it on television, movies, or otherwise, it's viewed as domestic abuse. When a woman hits a man just as hard, it's often viewed in a comical manner. Just take "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" for example.

I was in an abusive relationship. Even though I am a very strong man, I am also a very emotionally fragile man. A girlfriend of mine during high school would slap me across the face for the slightest infraction, punch me, kick me in the groin... Dr. Stan Katz is absolutely wrong in saying that "female aggression" is not abuse.

Karin   March 14th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

I spent 17 years of married abuse plus 3 years prior to marriage. I thought it would get better after we got married, however it only got worse. I hide it from everyone, because I was embarressed to tell anyone. I hide it from my family, friends & children, I couldn't or didn't leave because he was always soooo sorry after, and it would never happen again – until the next time of course. And I was afraid of how I would raise my children on my own if I did leave.
And, later I found out that his father did beat his mother, and siblings which he witnessed when he was a child.
I evently, did leave this situation, and it was very messy for awhile, and after I realized the anger that I had built up inside which took a long time before it subsided. I am now at peace.

Donna   March 14th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

I was in an abusive relationship about 24 yrs ago,pregnant he hit me while i was pregnant,i left before my son was born IT WAS THE BEST THING I EVER DID:) He is nothing like his father i taught him how to be a good ,real man he is all that and more. Back then the cops didn,t do anything.

paul   March 14th, 2009 10:07 pm ET

I have just watched the Rhiana show. It hnk the missed point was both are guilty. the one provoked the other becaue of an overeaction and the other responded. Both need emtional management. Why do women stay? Because they feel caught in a box in which they can't get out. The woman's need to care comes from the culture and we can't take away the repsonsibility of the woman. I felt that there was an anti man kick in this program. Let's not lose our balance of responsibility for both parties who overeacted and lost focus on the real truth.

pat bailey   March 14th, 2009 10:07 pm ET

I am disturbed by the comments of both men and women, young and older that refer to abuse between their parents as an excuse for abusive behavior in a relationship. My mother (God rest her soul) allowed my step-father to abuse her physically and emotionally, and I vowed as a child the night I heard her scream so loudly with a wrenching tone followed by a moaning sound that vibrated throughout every viber of my young soul, that I would never allow anyone to say they love me and in turn harm me with their love. I am through with you the moment you raise your voice to the tone of fear. There is no second chance, If I fear you, I've lost faith in the true author of LOVE!!!

oma, nigeria   March 14th, 2009 10:09 pm ET

i think its better to leave the two young couples to decide about their relationship themselve.i see love in both of them.a broken heart can be mended if given i see a possibility for the couple to rearrange their relations and make a better tomorrow.not really debating on passed issues.

desiree   March 14th, 2009 10:11 pm ET

maybe this is common knowledge...but it was very interesting to me, none the less...our original laws were written by men, to protect men & their rights...laws protecting children & women are still being fought for...women & children literally have less rights in our legal system...this is some of what NIcole Brown Simpsons sister, Denise has been trying to educate the public about...this subject is HUGE & I support all of your efforts to open up about that which we have held inside for far too long!!! Thank you Larry, Oprah, is helping me now as I type into this blog...I am becoming stronger!!!

Natalie, NJ   March 14th, 2009 10:12 pm ET

No one should be with a partner who brings out the worst in them. Rihanna obviously brought out the worst in Chris. She was lucky to escape with minor injuries. She might not be so lucky the second time around. Going back to Chris would be a terrible mistake.

guy   March 14th, 2009 10:13 pm ET

So what do I do when my wife starts hitting me for whatever reason – not doing whatever she said fast enough, whatever whatever.

When does that step from "aggresive" to "abusive"? I gues I'm sick of this "women's issue" nonsense. Women perpetrate violence against their spouses, against their children – up to and including murder. Where's the outcry against this rash of violence perpetrated by women?

Who do you think abuses kids more, men or women?

julie moser   March 14th, 2009 10:13 pm ET

I watched the broadcast with Robin Givens about domestic violence. Out of all the input, I did not hear anything spoken about personality disorders. I lived 4 years with a man who came on strong and loving and turned into a monster. I stuck around, perhaps a little Stockholm Syndrome effects and I was clueless about sociopathy, narcissistic personality disorder. I was beaten then there would be the honeymoon period and I would feel guilty about abandoning my partner. The cycle of abuse continued, and so did his efforts to convince me it wasnt his fault, but mine. I supported him and paid all the bills. I am a nice person. I didnt need him , but I am not a quitter and I am loyal. This is not something I was ever accustomed to. I had never been in an abusive relationship. I believed that my ex had a drug problem and that underneath it all he was a good man, Personality disordered people distort their perception and yours. They project their defects onto you and they are very controlling. I did find out that my ex had been treated at the VA hospital for personality disorders, but it was long after we separated. I had to move across the country to get away from him and heal from the resulting low self-esteem. I am very active on forums for this stuff. I am just surprised that therapists and the courts dont really look at that aspect of abuse? They put batterers in anger management programs. They dont help. Its a serious disorder. It doesnt go away and more should be exposed about it. Its all in the DSM-IV-Cluster B category. These people are skilled at manipulation and deflecting their accountability for harming others. Mine also siphoned money out of my children's trusts. He was also a con artist. Now he is laying low, and no one sees what he is capable of, at least not yet. Mine will harm someone again, I know it in my gut. Anti-social personality /borderline/narcissistic personality disorders should be heard about!. I regret not pressing charges. I went numb like a lot of women do that get abused. I was terrified.

rosalee   March 14th, 2009 10:15 pm ET

I am married now 2 years to a man who had been verbally abusive. I am currently filing for divorce, we are separated. The perverbial straw was in Jan he threatened me witha machette at 1am in the morning while I was sleeping on the sofa in the living room. I was not afraid of him. In that moment relized that he was really a coward. I faced up to him and he backed down. The next day I left. I saw him for truly who he was for the first time and called him on it. A diempowered human being, a bully and a coward.
He often told me that he made a mistaake in marrying me becasue I was not vulnerable enough.

Jeanne   March 14th, 2009 10:16 pm ET


I am sick with Rihanna and Chris Brown!

Let's be real, I'm a woman. I have lived with watching domestic abuse women vs men and vice versa. First, if you are not present, DON'T RUSH TO JUDGEMENT! I have SEEN not heard about women how abuse their husbands, men, etc...and vise versa. It's not right no matter how you cut the cake, but in this case, no matter who apoligized to whom, we are all human. What is to be said if she admitted to starting this altercation? WHAT? WE all are too quick to convict Brown, but what if he didn't do what we want to think HE did? We hopefully all are HUMAN being and would all wang to be able to make the right decision when placed in a split second decision to act or re-act to any given situation. I don't agree that the so-called stronger sex is allowed th get away with such things, but to lay ALL the blame on him without knowing ALL the true facts is being a hypocrite! NO, a self rightous hypocrite. and that GOES FOR ALL WHO ARE READY TO RUSH TO JUDGEMENT. OPRAH INCLUDED!

Janette   March 14th, 2009 10:16 pm ET

Message to Rihanna:

Run...don't look back, have a deaf ear...Look out for yourself. You apparently do not need his money, his fiancial support. Acquire new friends, persue your own life. Get counseling..keep getting it on and off as you need it....You can forgive him down the road but don't think you need to do it now. If the high-life or sex was me it will be again...but not with him....This will stay with you along time... Don't jump into another relationship.....Just love and persue your life. Your friends and family will be there and the rest never were!!!!


Trese Todd   March 14th, 2009 10:17 pm ET

I am one of the founding members of the Thrivers Action Group (TAG) in Seattle. My fellow members and I have both survived domestic violence and found social, physical, and emotional safety, but it was a very long road. All of us have been working in our own way to make a positive change for several years. THANK YOU for having such an excellent dialogue about this social crisis. I also want to thank and congratulate every member of the Panel. We can no longer afford to treat domestic violence as a "woman's issue." It is, in fact, a "family issue."

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions in play. The TAG mission statement is to "Plant the Seeds of Social Awareness One Truth at a Time." Your Panel members were telling the truth. What society decides to do with that truth is yet to be determined.

I only wish that we didn't have to wait for some severe tragedy in order to bring media attention to something that is happening every 14 seconds.

Donna Lee Mass.   March 14th, 2009 10:17 pm ET

Where is the pics of Chris Brown face? Who was the one who was brutal,P Diddy,give it a break,we don't know what happened,obviously we know who felt he had the right to use his fists.

desiree   March 14th, 2009 10:19 pm ET

oma...sweet thoughts...but not reality...she got hurt...she is tiny, he is WAY bigger...the point remains...he is bigger & he is stronger & he can hurt her with his is NOT acceptable what he did to her...I believe in the power of positive intention...but you have to be realistic...

Debbie   March 14th, 2009 10:21 pm ET

I am really twixt and in between! Some of us go off on our men, and then say go ahead hit me so I can call the police! I've told my 16 year old son that he is not to hit a girl/woman ever. When she comes after him, get out and please call me or his sisters, and let us handle it for him....that's what Chris Brown should've done. Evidently, it should have been the thing the gospel singer, BeBe, should've done.

Women like Robin Givens, and Nicole Brown (sorry about her death), allowed their families to coax them in to relationships for MONEY (no reason to marry). I do not believe OJ killed her, but I do believe he knows who did do it (she probably owed someone some drug money – her killing was done just like some of those poor people in Mexico). Robin wasn't in love, but her she & her mother saw money). Nicole's family was poor white trash too, but look how that turned around for them from who.....OJ (with his dumb self!), and his money!

To all of the women: If you can't take a punch then don't give one! I have another son that did all he could do for a woman, and she abused him, and he kept walking away because "you're never to hit a woman" – the last thing she did was spit in his face.... thank God another woman saw her do it and punched her in the face (and she didn't even know them). That was "finally the end of that relationship".

I do know one thing, Rhianna hasn't said a word – what was her role in this saga? I bet you she throwed some punches, and raw words. She should go back to her country, and both of them should leave each other ALONE. She is not an innocent bystander in all of this.

Sheena   March 14th, 2009 10:22 pm ET

I am saddened that it took this whole domestic violence to be heightened to Celebrity status to get national attention. Women have been abused for decades. My daughter has been caught in this cycle so much so that it rapes and robs our entire family of her very being. She leaves, she returns why, I ask ?nothing has changed its as though she has been brain washed. Now its like she will not share her life with us fearing we mayl judge her all the more. I try to support and not to judge. I will continue to pray for her and those like her that God will allow them to face their fears and leave before it is too late to go. Domestic violence on any level is ungodly, immoral and wrong.

Marva Coleman   March 14th, 2009 10:24 pm ET

Chris should go to jail and any man who hits a woman. This problem
is enormous in the world. The Bible should be apart of this conversation because men use it as a source for sanctioning their violence against women.

kehau   March 14th, 2009 10:25 pm ET

I am a survivor of domestic violence and would like to share my story of being abused by one man, and becoming the abuser to another. This problem is not only towards women, but men are also abused by women and the cycle goes on and on and on. Until, we the abused except the reality of being abused it will continue. If you come an abuser as I have in the past it's because you don't want to be abuse by no one anymore. After excepting the reality of both of my situations as the abused, and the abuser only then did I become a survivor. Unfortunately, for an ex-inlaw she was brutally stabbed to death by her husband which is the brother of my abuser on March 3, 2009.

sharon   March 14th, 2009 10:27 pm ET

I was in an abusive marrage and have been divorced for 3 years now!
At first I thought that didn't just happen he didn't hit me there were no marks no one would believe me. The abuse started after our daughter was born. He never hit our daughter nor was she at home when he hit me! She stayed at his parents over the weekend. Now that I look back he probably had planned it that way I don't know. The last straw for me was when he had gone to a club with some of his co-workers and came home drunk. He just started hitting me in the side and all I could think of was good now I have proof! A couple days before this happened a commercial for that Jennifer Lopez movie where she was abused came on and before I called the police all I could think of was if she can do it so can I. Durring the video arrainment he told the judge we were working it out!(He was arrested early Sunday morning) O.K.! I said no your honnor and held up a restraining order! Yes I was scarred about the future but I knew it would just have gotten worse and things wouldn't have changed.

Thank you for letting me share my story I hope it might help someone else out!

vickie   March 14th, 2009 10:30 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, Near his heart, to be loved by him.

Carol Mason   March 14th, 2009 10:33 pm ET

Outstanding program. This is a topic that needs to be openly addressed every day. It is treated as a "private family matter" and we turn our backs on the subject and women are dying and children are being raised to think violence is the way to solve conflict. Perpetrators need to be held accountable both in the court system and through effective treatment programs. There are so many excellent non-profit agencies that have staff who are qualified to work with victims and perpetrators to try to end the cycle of abuse but these organizations are tragically under funded. The news media downplays domestic violence incidents except when a high profile personality is involved, but women, everyday, in all areas of society are victims as are the children.

Please keep the camera focused on the issue of domestic violence and all of society will benefit. Help raise funds for the shelters and counseling centers across the country.

Thank you for this program. Have Larry King interview a man by the name of Jackson Katz. He is an outstanding spokesperson on the subject of male violence. He would make an excellent interview. He speaks across the country and works with sports teams on the subject.

Mary J   March 14th, 2009 10:35 pm ET

I am living the circle of violence now. He thinks its me, judge ordered him to counseling for batterer s intervention program. He in return tells me ,he doest belong in a classroom of white trash, etc. . He
doesnt need any help ,He keeps telling me if I would just listen and do what he tells me at all times, nothing would happen to me. What makes this such a nightmare ,he s a counselor at his work. He left the room when I had this program on , and told me I have issues, and mental- anger issues. I didnt deserve this, I am getting help, but the financial part is keeping me here for now.

desiree   March 14th, 2009 11:20 pm ET

To: Julie M.
Honey...GOOD WORK on educating yourself...NOW...let it go & see the underlying issues...for whatever reason/s you were in that awful abusive lifestyle...I have always tried to figure out WHY they do just takes away from...ME...why am I in it ??? I still fall back on is comfortable...we being human & all & liking routine...things we are used to...REMEMBER...change is UNCOMFORTABLE..even if it is for the better...probably the best education I have learned in all of my years of therapy.

John   March 15th, 2009 12:12 am ET

It's a shame that no one takes this opportunity to reveal how some females physically abuse their partners. The statistics are higher for female abuse because men tend not to report when they are assaulted.

BB   March 15th, 2009 12:20 am ET

Hey! Where is the objective look at domestic violence?

Ask Robin if she is a GOLD DIGGER or not. She played a game and sold her body for frame and money to a fighter! – Not that she deserved to be hit because of it. The point is MANY women perform domestic violence against men in the form of sexual, mental and verbal abuse. Many actually PROVOKE the violence by performing sexual, mental and verbal abuse and that is why many abuses never get reported. Why don't you folks talk about that?

I absolutely disagree with Oprah...especially when she can't even find her own man so obvsiouly she does not understand men. Her claim that "If he hit you once he WILL hit you again" is not absolute but she states it as absolute. Stats do NOT apply to everyone Oprah. For your information people learn and grow.

This non-objective reporting is sickening.

Voncele Savage   March 15th, 2009 12:31 am ET

As horrible as physical abuse is, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse can leave scars that can't be seen and can be just as life transforming with very negative long term consequences. I stayed in an abusive marriage for 40 years. My husband sexually abused our daughter and physically abused our son. I am not able to relate the many reasons why I kept going in and out of that marriage at least 11 times, in this limited space. I wrote 2 books as a healing process for me and to help other women involved in abuse. I encouraged my children, aged 39 & 42 to write (emote) for healing after I saw how much it helped me. Children have to be taught at a very young age to respect themselves & subsequently to respect others. The entertainment industry & the media seems to glorify abuse. I challenge the Church to address the reality of abuse and set up ministries for victims because my husband & I were ministers but I couldn't seem to get them to understand the devastating things that were taking place. I really think some thought I was exaggerating. In one of my books I refer to it as the Churches dirty little secret. It's too bad domestic violence is minimized until it happens to a celebrity.

Amy K   March 15th, 2009 12:32 am ET

I am a California Licensed Clinical Social Worker. That means I am licensed to provide psychotherapy in a private practice setting. As an LCSW, I am mandated to report suspected child abuse or elder abuse if I am aware of it or hear about it in a session with a client. If I do not report the abuse, I can lose my hard earned license to practice therapy. I never understood why we are NOT mandated to report suspected spousal abuse. This is a curious discriminatory practice against women who are less physically able to defend themselves against a stronger perpetrator – much as is the case with children and the elderly. Please expose this disconnect in our laws.

kyle   March 15th, 2009 12:34 am ET

I would like to say no man should hit a woman. no matter what a woman says or does they can leave also if a woman is abusive. my x-wife hit me once i told her at the time she will never be big enough to hurt me so i expect to have the same respect i give her to not hit her and if she cant stop her self i would leave. She never hit me again.

Marcus Dylan Pitcavage   March 15th, 2009 12:35 am ET

Hello. My name is Marcus, and i am a victim of domestic violence. My wife Tina severely abused me on a trip to Cancun in 2007. I was so badly bruised that i couldn't visit the beach, or even venture outside of the hotel room. Do you have any idea how it feels to be so emasculated? "Why women stay." What about us. What about the men (if you can call us that anymore) ?

MustSeeItToBelieveIt   March 15th, 2009 12:39 am ET

It doesn’t just happen to women. Nine years ago I experienced the verbal and physical abuse by a son’s girlfriend who he later married. She came from a home of verbal and physical abuse. After learning she was expecting, he felt it was his job to rescue her for the sake of his child. The abuse toward him, however, didn’t begin until I allow her to move in with us. Blinded by love, he could not see the signs of control, isolation, and separation which ultimately lead to the verbal confrontations. Over the next four year, I watched my son became caught up in the cycle of physical violence. It was crazy! Soon after she moved in, in a subtle way, the abuse started. This experience was such an eye opener for me as I watch the many tactics and things she did to keep the cycle of abuse going. They were both young, (she was still in high school, he was in his first year of college) and neither of them were not ready to deal with all the responsibility that goes along with family, responsibility, and relationships. As long as she got what she wanted, everything was fine. He was not raised in a house where there was violence, however, she was, and very controlling. This was the only way she knew how to (get her way) communicate. Love is blinding; and in as much as I tried to get him to see what was happening to him, I, could not. He rejected my input, latched out at me, and started using drugs to escape from the violence. Eventually, I, too, became a victim of the abuse in my home. When she was angry with him, she would latch out at me. I was called out of my name, hit, bit, and had my property destroyed by the both of them. You do feel powerless, I knew he felt trapped, and just did not know how to get out of the situation. It was scary, I feared for everyone involved and was not equipped to handle the many situations that would arise sometimes weekly. She provoked fights and would “tell you to hit her”. I’d call the police, put her out, put him out. At one point, I had to set boundaries for myself and stay away from him and well as her for my own safety. And then I got angry! By this time I had taken the “I don’t care anymore attitude”, and refuse to let it back into my house. I remember telling him one time during an argument, “I don’t care what the two of you decide to do, just leave me along”. Did I mean it? Yes, to a degree. Together, they would move back into her mother house. In December, 2004, my son was force out of his situation after being arrested and accused of sexually assaulting his wife after he caught her in bed with another man. After spending approximately seven month behind bars, it allowed him to see how he was destroying his future just to remain in a relationship that was not healthy or meant to me. And I refused to support him if he went back to her. After spending thousands of dollars in court fines, counseling, probation fee, monitors, domestic violence class, angry management classes, he now understands, as Oprah stated, “Love Does Not Hurt”. I’m one of the lucky ones. I got my son back. but I have to also say “If A Woman Hits You Once, She Will Hit Again” get out.

Derrick Henderson   March 15th, 2009 12:43 am ET

I would like Larry to do a simular show on domestically abused men. Though statistically not as prevelant, they are out there. I dont believe women should be abuse in no way shape or form, however I believe that there is more to some of these stories, and provocation has a lot to do with it! Once again, I reiterate a man should never hit a woman, he should leave if it get to that point. What if your stopped? A door closed, or she does not desire you to leave! These questions should be asked and addressed!

C Rilley   March 15th, 2009 12:44 am ET

Rihanna and Chris are 19 & 20 yrs old.- They dont really understand the seriousness of what occurred. They support themselves and are independent. Can someone really sit down and talk to them. Not to lecture them- they wouldn't take advice from a talk show where so many people are giving advice but not listening to them.- Does anyone out there really understand the way two of them are thinking.You need to talk to them in private – not to lecture them..

UMUTESI SOLANGE   March 15th, 2009 12:45 am ET

The case is common for all women, in my country (Rwanda) according to assistant inspector of police gender desk, Ms. Bellina Mukamana domestic violence is rampant and not always reported in time. She indicates that women in Rwanda report violence cases after 90 times.
Please don't go back Rihanna, he said I will kill ( trust me he will).

Verdis L. Dean   March 15th, 2009 12:45 am ET

first of all ..I have to commend Ms. Givens for her strength in getting out of that relationship with Mike. I will say is hard to escape from my abusive relation..because I was that girl..the one that thought everything was my fault, but I had to learn to love ME, instead of what I have become in the marriage. It took me 20 years to divorce my X-husband thinking that he would change over the years. He went to prison for 12 years and most of those years I was waiting for him to say "I have changed". Although I was living in Pittsurgh Pa...he was in the prison system in Tennessee...and I waited to dismiss myself from him, knowing that there was no fixing someone that was already broken.My siblings also told me that it would be the death of me if I had stayed with him...but I have to believe in ME, and not what he tried to make me. Some of us WOMEN think that we can change a man, but it is in the nature of that individual . BUT GOD!!!
If I had stayed..he woud have killed me, and I had to make a choice, and my choice was to go, and it was the best thing that I had ever done. The scars still remain, and I am still choice.
To All the Ladies who think that it is their fault..Think are better than that, and you deserve a king, not a joker.

Jeanne   March 15th, 2009 12:46 am ET

Domestic abuse isn't just limited to spouse/partners, I was suckered
Punched in the face after my sisters husband got mad at me for
Calling his wife a name. My nose was broken. He later molested his step-daughter. These incidents caused extreme damage to our entire family. Violence is never ok

UMUTESI SOLANGE   March 15th, 2009 12:53 am ET

your case is common for all women dear Rihanna don't go back please. in my country Rwanda according to assistant inspector of police gender desk, Ms. Bellina Mukamana domestic violence is rampant and not always reported in time. She indicates that women in Rwanda report violence cases after 90 times.

Chris you made the wrongest decision , even animal don't beat each other anymore.
Justice for all ( include the stars).
chris you need an strong education for your next girl friend , and Rihanna you need time to think about how life is expensive and think about your future and all of those girl those think your a model.
please don't go back he will kill you, he said that.

James In Kamiah, Idaho   March 15th, 2009 12:56 am ET

Dear Dr. Katz,
There is no distinctionthat needs to be made; men and women abuse alike and are both guilty and capable of it. We just hear more aften about male related abuse.

A good rule of thumb for the parent who spanks their child: The first spank is for the child's benefit, the second is for yours.

People need to start waking up to the reality that Abuse goes two ways, in every situation with one engaging in minor abuse and the other engaging in major abuse.

LaVelle   March 15th, 2009 12:58 am ET

I was with my abuser for 18 years, I had seen the signs before we married but ignored them. The emotional was much more damaging than any of the other abuse. So much so that I took my own life on May 25th 2007, I was lucky enough to have been brought back after approx 4 minutes and in a coma for 4 days. I never pressed charges against him. Later I was court ordered out of my home and a protective order was issued for me to have no contact with my four children, all because he lied to the judge. I am now divorced and have custody of two of my four children and trying to get custody of the other two. This is only a sliver of my story. Thank you for speaking out about this topic! Too many people think that only physical and sexual abuse is relevant.

Anonymous   March 15th, 2009 12:59 am ET

To BB THANK YOU for at least showing another side. 1. We the public have seen pictures and various legal documents(real or false) and assume WE know whats going on. CLEARLY we do not know the whole story as neither parties have spoken. 2. I love Oprah but her statement “If he hit you once he WILL hit you again” was very definite. I agree that most will BUT there are some that change that I know of personally know of. 3. BOTH Rihanna and Chris need counseling b/c of this situation and previous history with violence with in their family's (search the web). 4. Victor Rivers- he said he was FRIENDS OF BOTH not just Chris. 5. I AM SO SICK OF EVERYONE HIGHLIGHTING THIS STORY B/C OF WHO THEY ARE. THERE ARE STILL SO MANY PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN AND ARE ABUSED EVERYDAY AND YET NO ONE WANTS TO DEEPLY TALK ABOUT IT UNTIL IT ENVOLVES A CELEBRITY. 6. What happened "innocent until proven guilty". 7. Let me be clear- Rihanna DID NOT deserve this what so EVER.... also did anyone think that Rihanna may not be an innocent angel in this. 8. Ive known females at school that will fight a guy just because. 9. Dr. Stan Katz- did you just say WOMEN cannot be abusers...are you really educated because they can and are. 9. This is about the only thing I TRUELY agree with- we need to start n the school, BUT IT FIRST STARTS IN THE HOME.10. Mrs. Pierro(?) how do you know to the point of unconsciousness? People like you are quick to judge until it hits home. 11. Robin please spare us. I understand you were abused but so you have common sense?? What time did you go over his house?

Bobby Jones   March 15th, 2009 12:59 am ET

I am a young man who watched his mother be abused on all levels by my father until I was 6 years old and my mom left the household. I hate violence on any person on any level. I just would love to offer different thought. What about violence in gay relationships? I have read studies that assert that the rate of violence in gay relationships is just as high as heterosexual relationships. Im not bringing this up to de legitimize the struggle that women endure at the hands of domestic relationship. I am merely offering a new piece of information, that I believe leads us to the conclusion that violence in relationships is a societal and yes American problem! Men hitting Men is wrong Men hitting Women is wrong Women hitting Women is wrong Women hitting Men is wrong its all wrong and there is no Gender to blame its the primitive ideology that we have in this nation that tells us that in the end force is an option. Its the same ideology that has lead us into the occupation of Iraq its the same ideology that allows us to have the largest death row population in the world and its the same ideology that holds us the concrete walls in Guantonamo Bay. Violence is bigger then Chris Brown and Rihianna they are little kids who we have put on a pedestal who showed us that they are little kids. We have to deal with the ideology first.

lise bourbonnais   March 15th, 2009 1:02 am ET

i wish for Rhianna to see that she needs to be out of there, for good and it does not matter who sent the message to Chris, he should not hit someone...

feliciano   March 15th, 2009 1:02 am ET

It take1 minute to turn the fire. Am sure that,if they were out of the car, this would not hapen

pat bailey   March 15th, 2009 1:03 am ET

All of you need to read the above blog from pat bailey, "Love is absent of abuse and harm", humans are a civil species of the animal kingdom, respect of each others innate right to disgree and so state that disaagreement , and, should be allowed to do so without retribution or the threat of fear. This my brothers and sisters is one of the "Golden Rules", do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Therefore, don't enter into and or stay into any relationship that is absent of the "Golden Rule".

James In Kamiah, Idaho   March 15th, 2009 1:04 am ET

I noticed a few things in the outside interviews of both Chris Brown, and Sean Puff Daddy Combs.
In Brown's case, it seemed he was relating his [ast life story to get attention more than anything, as most abused people are too embarrassed often to talk about it, and the reason he may have decided to open up to Tyra Banks, is because her show attracts far more young women than men, and he may have felt it would increase his chances of getting laid by someone who'd watched the show. Men often abuse when they feel they've been slighted or humiliated in some way, and those that may portend a greater respect for women, often feel humiliated and bitter when a woman rejects them for someone who is openly abusive, and then lash out from pent up rage. I wonder if Brown was feeling that way?

Puff daddy's interview with Ellen Degenerous showed me quite a few signs that he may be an enabler, if not an abuser himself [and to all you people looking for a reason to call me a racist, NO it's not because he's black]. When Ellen pressed him about him allowing Brown and Rihanna using his home, his first response wasn't that he wanted to give them a more protective and secluded place to discuss their issues and work things out, it was to say... First of all, it's my house and I'll do whatever I want with it... and his second statement really just showed an obliviousness to the risks.

Good lu8ck to those two kids... they're gonna need it.

thomas   March 15th, 2009 1:07 am ET

Good call, Larry, on not hosting this topic yourself. Domestic violence comes in two parts, physical and emotional. While many groups tend to focus only on the physical, the emotional violence is just as damaging. Stats show a under-reporting by women with male abusers and a tremendous under reporting or virtual absence of reporting by men for female abusers. If any measure of progress is to be made on this subject, then this subject must be cast in equal parts, by both sides and inclusive of both physical and emotional violence. As long as this is made to look like a male problem with always a female victim, then as with Oprah's inability to reach men, little movement can be expected as everyone noted in tonight's broadcast.

Alexis   March 15th, 2009 1:09 am ET

Sean Penn beat Madonna on several occassions. In one instance he abused her for over 9 hours; tied her to a chair with duct tape and she escaped to the sheriff's office only after Sean left to buy more liquor. Neither was made to be the poster child for abusive relationships and both were well over 21. He just won his second Oscar and she sells out arenas whenever she tours. What Chris Brown did was terrible but I feel it's unfortunate that the news media would act as if they are a part of their relationship. Richard Burton and Liz Taylor had a very abusive relationship and yet they divorced and remarried before deciding to divorce again. The press has become a mafia to contend with stating, "dump him or else we'll destroy your career along with his". Both need counseling and after counseling they should decide how they will live their own lives and not allow reporters are talk show host that are hungry for ratings to dictate their lives. Journalist are like hungry lions seeking whom they may devour. Just pray for another controversial news story to surface and you'll find that the press could care less about you.

Nina   March 15th, 2009 1:11 am ET

I watched the sshow on domestic violence today on the Larry King Live. I felt my heart reaching out to Robin Givens and Erin Brown. The pain in their voice is familiar. I know, because i realize after more than 15 years of marriage...that I am in an abusive relationship. It has shayyered my self-esteem and life, but I never knew what I was/am going through was not normal. I watch my son who is 7, growing up thinking that it is ok and natural to treat women this way. I want to stop this but I don't know how. because I don't have any prooof that he is abusing me ....verbally and emotionall....everyday. How do I prove this? please help. Nina

ag35   March 15th, 2009 1:14 am ET

I have just been out of an abusive relationship and the biggest thing is that you don't want to accept that the person is abusive and dosnt love you
You will keep making excuses explaining urself that the person in some way cares or will change
But the truth is that you have to realise ASAP and its difficult to do so is if someone who hurts you
Or cheats on you or abuses you does not love you

He dosnt care for you and sadly people rarely change. Its heartbreaking and difficult but that's the truth.
A guy who hurts you emotionally or physically dosnt care respect value or love you.

Carnell Mosley   March 15th, 2009 1:20 am ET

I would just like to the women who are all on TV saying that if he hit her once he'll do it again. If that is the case then should we as people say that everyone whose done something wrong can't change ? Yes what he did was very very wrong and should never happen, but does that give us the right to say that he can't correct his downfall, I mean should we just continue to through him under this massive bus or should we give them both the HELP and support they need ? Lets remember that these are kids ,and we wouldn't want to force anyone to cause harm to anyone else or themselves......

Diana Alder   March 15th, 2009 1:24 am ET

Inner Child: A poem I wrote about my experience as a child of a mother that was abused
Again I awake from screaming and yelling,
How long will it last? There is no telling.
I sneak out of bed and peak through the door,
Daddy knocked mommy down on the floor.
Her nose is bleeding and she has a black eye,
He hits her again, "Please don't let her die!"
I must save my mommy, but what can I do,
If I try to stop him, he'll hit me too.
I feel guilty, I feel helpless, and so much shame,
Sometimes I wonder if I'm to blame.
I'll try to be good so he doesn't get mad,
Then maybe he'll stop drinking and be a nice dad.
He's left the room now and gone to bed,
I go hug my mommy and kiss her head.
She tells me she loves me and everythings alright,
"Go to bed now darling, I'll leave on the light."
I soon fall asleep and begin to dream,
But, I see a monster that makes me scream!
He's big and he's scary and he's comming my way,
But, my feet won't work! "Help me!" I pray.
I wake us, he's gone, It was just a nightmare,
But, I want my mommy because I'm so scared.
I want her to hug me and say it's alright,
But, if I wake daddy there might be a fight.
I'll lay here and count sheep like I have before,
Soon I see the sun creaping in under my door.
It's time to get up , to school I must hurry,
But, I'm so very sleepy and feel so much worry.
The teacher says, "Diana, answer the question."
I say "I don't know" She says "Pay attention."
I wish I knew the answer but, I'm not very bright,
Daddy says I'm stupid and grown-ups are right.
Mommy says daddy wasn't always this way,
He was nice til he took a drink one day,
I just don't understand and I know I'm not smart ,
But, if drinking does this why did her start?
Why can't her just stop and be nice like before,
Then we'd be happy and mommy won't get hurt anymore.

Jan   March 15th, 2009 1:25 am ET

I was married four years to my "attorney" husband the morning he came downstairs on a weekend, snatched our fussing for breakfast 14-month old daughter off the floor, shoooooook the hell out of her, and screamed over and over and over, red in the face, that she had ruined her life. I stepped around him, took our terrified daughter away from him, stepped away and told him never to do that again. The following morning he came around to my side of the bed with what became his all too frequent, teary-eyed litany: "I'm so sorry, I don't know what got into me, it will never happen again." It always happened again .. on an ever increasingly predictable cycle. This was years before anybody talked about verbal, emotional abuse. Twenty-years later, I changed the locks, drop kicked his ass to the end of my driveway, hired a forensic accountant (I had the business financials), one of the county's best attorneys, put him through a bankruptcy, and got rid of him.

Today he's still a chronic abuser and alcoholic in denial, still a liar, thief now married to an long-time girlfriend with whom he cheated on me since shortly before (I found out later) we were married. They've been married four years now, and given this economic downturn which has hugely affected his clientelle and bottomline, I figure it's just a matter of time before he begins abusing her, too. Old dogs don't change their habits.

If there is justice, at not quite 60 he's got a very serious blood clotting issue and probably won't live to see but a couple more years at most. So to all the women out there who have endured abusers, remember, people reap what they sow. Be patient. Most of all - go on with your own life.

In my late 50's, I own my own home and am financially stable. My estrogen ran out at the same rate as my patience. I fully understand why most women of my decade never ever want to be married again. To say that 95% of all men are predatory and abusive of women is an understatement.

Diana Alder   March 15th, 2009 1:33 am ET

I watched my mother abused time and time again.He would always cry and promise never to do it again. She married and divorced him 2 times! He wanted her to marry him a 3rd time. I was a teen agaer and told her I'd run away. She didn't remarry him. Thank God. He needs to prove himself and get treatment. My father married 2 other womwn after that and they divorced him. He never changed. Most of them don't.

Thomas   March 15th, 2009 1:38 am ET

One more comment: If I knew a man was beating up my mom or sister I would kill him. No joke. Isn't that what we sons are supposed to do? OK maybe not kill, but our government sends troops in for lesser crimes!! Ha!!

desiree   March 15th, 2009 1:46 am ET

OMGosh!!! READ what everyone is blogging!!! This is why the cycle of abuse MY is for lack of education...SO FAR...we can identify what should NOT happen...ALL of the EXCUSES are NOT acceptable...PLEASE EDUCATE yourselves & others...NO EXCUSES!!! NO EXCUSES!!! You may NOT EVER use force to hurt any living being...EVER!!! the golden rule is good for those who have the measuring tools to use it...abusers have no measuring tools...they have only what they know...the past...the COMFORT ZONE!!! REMEMBER...change is UNCOMFORTABLE...we are human & we are creatures of HABIT...AND for all of you MEN on here, blogging...thank you for those of you who understand that you are usually bigger & stroinger & you can hurt is NEVER OK to use force...we are not at war here...OH WAIT...MAYBE WE ARE!?!?

Tonja   March 15th, 2009 1:57 am ET

I am just viewing the domestic violence airing. I understand it is not during the live airing.
One very important (and maybe the most important) issue that was not discussed by anyone is the REALITY of pressing charges, and I am speaking from experience. You could actually do an entire week on it if you were to touch on this issue with women who have tried to leave and "did the right thing".
The gut of the apologies is AFTER the abuser is charged and obtains an attorney, they know they are in deep trouble. They also know that the attorney will dig up and present as much dirt as possible on the victim and they cannot stop themselves from relaying this information.
I was told by my abuser " This is going to ruin my life", "if you continue with the charges it is going to get ugly". I knew I had not done anything wrong but I didn't know what they would ACCUSE me of. I have a child. He made it clear that my child would hear all about it. Whatever "it" is that they were going to try.
That shut me down. My brusies were healed, my bank account was empty and I went back. Two weeks later he did it again.
I moved and left everything and went as far as my money would take me. Yes he got away with it. I am not going through that again with the courts, the delays, the intimidation, time off work, and on and on.
I KNOW it is NOT financially possible for the majority of domestic violence victims to leave. And please do not talk to me about the public defenders offices or shelters. I could write a book on that alone.
Why Rianna and Robin went back were the BASICS of domestic violence but for the majority you HAVE to add the financial issues and pressure from the opposing attorney and court systems.
I hope by writing about my point of view that it can become an issue. Maybe then so many people will stop asking WHY do they go back and start asking WHY are these abusers getting away with it.

George J   March 15th, 2009 2:00 am ET

I am hearing different versions of this story and don't know what to think about this whole unfair situation for both Rihanna and Chris Brown. The laws as I know doesn't help or improve the situation for them or anyone in their situation.They should be forced to go to some kind of counseling despite of what the outcome because the authorities had to be involved. If Rihanna made the first blow as I have heard then she should be charged just as well. Both men and women need to keep their hands and verbal attacks under control. It doesn't matter if he's a man or that he's stronger than she is. What if they both were women?

When I first heard about it I felt a little deja vu. This country is very slow in determining effective laws to assist in any domestic disagreement and we let emotions blind us because of our personal experiences. When I read these comments I feel for everyone who has gone through something but cant help think as I always do, there is two sides to every story.

As far as their music goes, I don't tell my kids not to listen to their music because of this. Good music is good music. A positive song that promotes love, happiness and good will is worth listening to.

Tonja   March 15th, 2009 2:14 am ET

Please carbon copy this to Ophra.

Jan   March 15th, 2009 2:15 am ET

Diana Alder ... you understand.

ag35   March 15th, 2009 3:07 am ET

I grew up seeing my father abuse my mother.
Everyday there were fights and he hit her and at times she hit him back
He broke her hand, hit her head and abused her verbally and emotionally.

They are still married for over 40 years. Strange my mother always protects him and says he has changed
But its only until the next argument that he hits her again and it starts all over again
Surprisingly the reasons of hitting her are still the same.

The bad influence on children is that they think being abusive is ok or part of a relationship
Also they accept abuse not only in a relationship but in other social situations

It is wrong! ..... people who do it are wrong
People who tolerate it or accept it are only accepting to get hurt again
They should know they deserve better and that they don't have to go through it

They might have to break a relationship or leave someone they love
But its ok to do that because they don't obviously care about you
Its already over so wake up and get out of it

Its difficult to break a relationship .... but you will be better off...

Marvin   March 15th, 2009 3:22 am ET

Larry. Let's not forget there are men who are silently abused by women too. A man should never put his hands on a woman, likewise a woman too. We need to talk about this topic from both angle to resolve what is turning our men and women into boxers and carnivores in their homes.


MARVIN   March 15th, 2009 3:29 am ET

I do not believe in hitting a woman. But sometimes a woman will push all the buttons to make a person mad and will not let up. I saw this with a family member. Instead of working things out it would be her way or nothing. She went thru 3 marriages and she is still demanding in no matter what relationship she is in or who she is around.

spider   March 15th, 2009 3:30 am ET

I have no sympathy for Robin Givens at all. And as usual no one gets to the point but talks around it. If you want more of an explanation i'd be glad to call into your show.


Tabitha   March 15th, 2009 3:34 am ET

People need to leave this girl alone. Don't you remember what it was like to be 21? The more we preach at her the LESS likely it will be that she will leave him. Do I think she should separate herself from him: YES. Do I think I/we can badger her into it: NO. Love at 21 is very intense. I'm sure she believes, falsely, she can change him; it's not the same with her, etc. And no one is going to change her mind. Unfortunately she may lose her life due to this bad decision. This is life. be thankful for the discussion. Hopefully it will save some lives

osas   March 15th, 2009 3:34 am ET

If we are not objective about this issue,we can never get the solution to domestic violence even if we discuss it for one hundred years.It is almost impossible to attain peace without justice,so we need to look at both side of the coin.If men are the only devil how come ladies find it very had to share accommodation together compare to guys.

There are men out there who are exposed to more abuse but find no prospect in reporting it.Some women can abuse a man and still be the one to report that the man is abusing her because it is easier to believe the woman.

By any measurement,it is bad for a man to hit a woman but the woman should be given the same treatment for hiting or abusing the man.

LaVelle   March 15th, 2009 3:39 am ET

I wonder if anyone has ever thought about how many suicides and attempted suicides are directly linked to abuse? So many people say "why don't you leave?", it is easy for them to say it when they are not in that type of situation. How do you leave when the abuser has you so convinced that you couldn't make it without them. That NO one else would ever want you, let alone you and four kids, and two of them with disabilities. That you are stupid, broken, you are a crappy mother, that you are NEVER good enough and everything is all your fault. How do you leave when he controls everything? Especially the money, the vehicles are in his name only and you are left with the one that doesn't run... How are you going to support them and yourself with no real education or work history? Where are you going to go? Yes, there are domestic violence shelters out there. Try getting into one, almost all of them have wait lists at least six months long or more. Oh and just try going to his chain of command or FAS (oh did I forget to mention he is in the Army?), the military sticks by the soldier. Try to prove abuse when there are no bruises etc. There were times I wished he would have just hit me, the pain and the bruises fade (he finally did towards the end), but when it is emotional, the pain never goes away. You will always doubt yourself, your judgment, and if and when you do get out of that relationship, any other man that enters your life. What I think the worst is though, is that he has taught my boys how to treat women, and I feel that I allowed it by staying. So, even now he still has that control to make me feel that it is all my fault....

D   March 15th, 2009 4:05 am ET

Look I may be the only guy to ever admit this but after seeing what I have saw tonight I want to tell my story. My mother was abused very badly by my father. Then he left us. My mother married another man that was a Drunk and abused all of us my mother, brother, sister and myself. When I was 12 years old I promised myself that I would never strike a woman after I had been abused by both my father and step father.

There is no excuse for it but at the age of 15 I struck my own mother. At the time I did not even realize I did it. I ran away from everything. I had no respect for my mother due to her allowing the abuse from both my father and step father. I grew up in the abusive environment.

I have a very bad temper that is the result of the abuse in my family. Stored anger that builds whenever things get out of hand. I try very hard to contain it. I know that I am dangerous to anyone that is near me if I loose control!!! I have tried so hard to maintain control; with military training and martial arts I have gained a lot of control over my emotions. However, I still have a breaking point. I can not say every man is the same as me however when I reach that breaking point my blood feels as it is boiling it burns so bad there is actual pain in my body that forced me to breath heavy and become aggressive.

I am married and have been for 5 years. I have struck my wife once. After that day my wife and I sat down and discussed what happened. I was horrified and extremely disappointed in myself! I understood what happened and I would hope in never would again! My wife and I discussed the issue and came to an agreement. This agreement was to protect both of us. My anger boils my blood more and more as an argument intensifies. So we decided to compromise. We made a safe word for both of us. If my wife or I feel like an argument is intensifying to our breaking point we utilize the "safe word" or phrase. At this time both of us have already agreed to respond to the "safe word" the same way. When the safe word is presented the opposing argument will say " we can talk about this later" give a kiss and walk away. This is to protect both of us. As my wife understands that as much as I have tried to contain my anger I still have a blackout point. I will admit I can and will without control blackout and lash out with such force that I scare myself. I don't know if this is genetic or not. I don't really care! All I know is I Love my mother and my wife with all my HEART and I do not want to hurt them. I have struck both of them once without control. My mother when I was 15 and my wife after 7 months of marriage. I have vowed not to do it again that is why we have a safe word. This might not help everyone but it might help some.

I do not agree with Opera " If he hit you once he will do it again" I think it depends on the relationship, the Love, the man and his intelligence! As I said I hit my wife once after 7 months of marriage. We have now been married for 5 years. I LOVE Her so much!! But we have worked together to maintain the level of stress that is comfortable to both of us without aggression.

Cheri Woods   March 15th, 2009 4:06 am ET

The 5 most dreaded words for anyone involved in a violent relationship to hear, spoken by the one person who claims to love you. The victim is often referred to as a "battered wife" (or girlfriend, or in some cases the victim is even the husband or boyfriend) "spousal abuse" and most recently "domestic abuse" which covers the entire gambit.
Domestic abuse does not discriminate. It happens amongst all ethnicities, age groups, income levels, and in every country. In the olden days, women were considered men's property, known as "chattel." Through the years, as women gained more independence and rights, they married and became the "spouse." In the more recent years, living together outside of marriage has become more common and an acceptable way of life. Whether you are dating, married, or living together, the fact remains there is a commitment level to all forms of relationships, one which gives the persons involved the perception that they have "ownership" rights over their partner. When those believed ownership rights are violated in some way, certain individuals may react in a physically violent manner. Since violence committed by men upon women is the most common form, I will write in those terms. These violent men most often come across as "charmers." They usually have mood swings. They generally were raised in homes where they witnessed physical abuse and continued the pattern of abuse in their own relationships. Too many women blame themselves. If only I had done this... or if only I had not done that...WRONG. If you want to know how a man will treat you, look at how he treated the women before you and there lies the answer.
It is a hard cycle to break. Men are remorseful, if only for the moment. Women go back to them, thinking it will not happen again or they can "change" their man. The fact is, it WILL happen again, and it only gets worse, even escalating to murder. The most recent headlines have been about Chris Brown and Rihanna. Think back about one of the most high profile cases, Nicole Brown Simpson and OJ. The men are all the same, they just have different names.
In the 70's and 80's domestic violence was not taken seriously by law enforcement. Friends and neighbors did not want to get involved. Now things have changed. The perpetrator will be arrested and charged by the state, even if the victim doesn't want to prosecute. There are abuse support groups and shelters for women and children.
I was married to International pop star Stevie Woods, and was a victim of domestic abuse.
I had him arrested and he went to jail on several occasions. The police told me to buy a gun and shoot him, as they had a file on his previous assaults on me and I would never go to jail. I am proud to say, I have been free of domestic abuse for over 20 years and it is great to have my life back. To find out more about my story, you can read my book "Death Row Madam" which can be purchased on my website.
For you are an abuse victim, you do not need to suffer in silence. Seek help. Call a hotline. Document the abuse with photos and timelines. Keep it in a safe place and give a copy to a trusted friend or family member. Call the police. File criminal charges. Get a restraining order. See a counselor. Move to a safe place. Protect yourself, and especially your children, as they are the helpless, forgotten victims.
For emergency short term rental, go to website:
To order the book, go to website:

Whitty   March 15th, 2009 5:43 am ET

LaVelle: I read your blog and my heart is with you. Please contact me at and I will help you all I am able. I am sorry for your situation and have resources available to help you and your family if you will please make the first step and contact me.


D.Mckeithan   March 15th, 2009 5:44 am ET

After fifteen years the reason people don't take women seriously is becuase for one reason the spokes persons that you have on your show Larry are not being taken seriously by the young people. I've talked to young adults who spiritually know the Lord and they are looking at the life styles at some of these women. Many of them are controlling women, many were former addicts, many with money and influence but no morals and that's why we can't get our young to see what we are trying to portray. Young girls see this in their homes with their fathers, how their mothers treat their dads. They see how women cheat on their boy friends and say the most ugly things to them and that's why the little girl on Oprah was shaking her head because they know how the average woman treats men which is not good. Women have to take some responsibility and no Robin women don't raise boys men do and you can't gaurantee what your sons will do. We must teach men and women what a spiritual relationship is according to the mighty word of GOD not ours. We do not give life and we can't take it away. Violence with the hands or mouth are wrong. We must change hearts in order to love.

D.Mckeithan   March 15th, 2009 5:44 am ET

After fifteen years the reason people don't take women seriously is becuase for one reason the spokes persons that you have on your show Larry are not being taken seriously by the young people. I've talked to young adults who spiritually know the Lord and they are looking at the life styles at some of these women. Many of them are controlling women, many were former addicts, many with money and influence but no morals and that's why we can't get our young to see what we are trying to portray. Young girls see this in their homes with their fathers, how their mothers treat their dads. They see how women cheat on their boy friends and say the most ugly things to them and that's why the little girl on Oprah was shaking her head because they know how the average woman treats men which is not good. Women have to take some responsibility and no Robin women don't raise boys men do and you can't gaurantee what your sons will do. We must teach men and women what a spiritual relationship is according to the mighty word of GOD not ours. We do not give life and we can't take it away. Violence with the hands or mouth are wrong. We must change hearts in order to love.

Nate   March 15th, 2009 5:53 am ET

You know women abuse men just as much as men do women. It's just the simple fact that men are way to far embarrassed about the situation and it doesn't get reported. What man wants to say my girlfriend/wife beat me up. And women abuse men emotionally just as much as men do women. Comments like your a peice of crap. You don't make enough money, why can't you be like so and so...he so nice. You don't fulfill me sexually. All these things make a man feel less than what they are. I caught my girlfriend in college cheating on me with another man. When I went into the room I was angered and wanted to know what the hell was going on. She slapped me, ripped my shirt down the front of me and scratched me all over my face and chest, and to get her off of me I pushed her back. She fell on her butt which left a little bruise on her tail bone, She said I abused her called the cops cause I wouldn't let her back into our appartment which I paid for. I was charged for assault and taken away from the place I paid for. This is also issues that need addressed.

mary ann sharp   March 15th, 2009 5:58 am ET

the following attacment is a day in my life at 13 years old .there is much before and much after but this is one day.
Page 1

November 10,1973 9:00am. I am 13 years old, my mom is 33, my sister (the quite one) is 10 and the baby is 4. My mom says

in a hushed voice “Take only what we talked about, and put everything in the laundry baskets.” Mom I ask can Duchess go?

(She was my white German Shepard). When I had found her the year before she had been starving and expecting puppies. We

were very close. Mom said “ok she can go if she follows the car down the road so your Uncle won’t see her get into the car.”

You see we were sure that Uncle reported everything we did to my step-dad. If he thought we were going anywhere

besides to go do laundry he would call and tell him and we would get caught.

Thirty minutes later everything we were taking with us was in the 1965 White Chevy Impala, including the dog. Mom and I

had a brief discussion about which way to go. I said, “East, more space to get lost in besides we had already went the other

directions before.” This was not our first attempt to leave. East it was and we headed out Hwy 44 as fast as we could.

At first no one spoke. We were all afraid of him finding us. He had found us before. No one would say it but; we all knew he

would hurt us. I knew he would kill me.

I had known for a while that he was working up to being able to kill me. He had told me. I just didn’t know when. The last

three months things had gotten a lot worse. He would pick me up at the bus stop and keep me with him drinking and driving

around all day. He was always trying to beat me down or watch me stand up to him I’m not sure which. He seem to have this

strange fascination with my lack of fear, self-confidence and independence. But maybe I should start at the beginning.

I was 5 years old (the quite one) was 2 when mom came home and said we have a new dad. He was tall, good looking,

funny, and seemed to think I was the cat’s meow. The abuse didn’t start right away but the domination did. My mom seem to

fall right into it. I think it was ok with her for a man to tell her what to do; after all she had married the first time at 16 at her

mom’s request, six months later her mom was killed in a car wreck. (To this day she believes her dad ran her mom off the

road causing the automobile accident that killed her.) Then when I was a year old my older sister (she was 3) died in an

accidental drowning while we were at a baby sitters. I don’t blame my mother for her decisions, but I quit trusting her to take

care of me and (the quite one) at about age 4. I became very independent at a very young age but that’s another story.

With each passing year the violence escalated, at first he would turn mom over his knee and whip her. Then he graduated to

whipping her with a belt for punishment. Then it went to pushing, slapping and punching. But I think the most tramaic to

everyone was the sudden out burst. They were so quick and violent. Anything could set him off. If the mashed potatoes were

not hot enough, they went flying across the room. If we were out of bread or milk at dinnertime he would flip the table upside

down. I don’t know how us kids stayed out of the way but for the most part we did until the later years. Again another story.

It does change you though. I mean it’s been 34 years since I’ve been afraid, yet today if an adult male cusses and throws

Page 2
something I experience the flight or fight sensation right then, I will leave the area and you cannot get me to stay.

Domestic Violence is not a simple problem; you see my mother has spent a good number of these 34 years since we left still

loving the man she left and blaming me for having to leave. She would have stayed. She would have endured the bad for the

good (the roses, cards, candy, and the loving man he could be) but I gave her a choice to make, him or me, I was leaving with

or without her but if she left with me I would promise to help support our family for as long as needed. That’s not just

another story that’s a whole book.

Now back to this story, we were headed out Hwy 44 and we didn’t have any idea where we are going. We had little money and

no family, just each other. That was enough for me. The first night we are so jumpy that gas and bathroom stops are few. By

two or three in the morning mom is falling asleep at the wheel and I am having a hard time keeping her awake, so we stop and

get a room, but every time a car went by we would feel trapped in that room. Mom and I agree, me driving without a license

was better than getting found so we hit the road again. I drove at night; I learned I could not go to sleep while driving

something I put to use later in life. Mom drove during the day.

We ran out of money in Cheyenne Wy. There weren’t any Domestic Violence Shelters in Cheyenne Wy. As a matter of fact

there’s not a lot in Cheyenne Wy. But we did find a Salvation Army Shelter for homeless (men) I guess woman weren’t

homeless back then except for us. The old man that ran the place was really a nice guy. He gave us the only room with just

two full size beds so we would have a little privacy. The room had no doors. I believe the old man knew a family of 4 girls

was not safe there, so he agreed to let my dog Duchess stay. As it turned out she returned the favor of me saving her life by

protecting us with hers. She would not let anyone come in our room day or night or within 2 feet of us. She showed one guy

she meant business by nailing him to the floor with her month around his throat. He was begging me to call her off. We never

had any more trouble with the men in the shelter. I know now that we were being watched over and kept safe.

My mom had never worked at a job, but we both got jobs right away. She went to work as a hotel maid and I went to

work as a waitress. We were never out of work again. I kept my promise; mom and I lived together most of the first 10 years.

We worked at a lot of different jobs mostly together and we had a lot of fun. We stomped cotton, picked tomatoes, picked

lemons, drove grain trucks in the fields and pumped diesel fuel at our local truck stop before becoming truck drivers.

Sometimes we lived in tents, sometimes we lived in old school busses but we never had to stay in a shelter again. We were

always together safe and free.

It took a long time for us to stop looking over our shoulders, but we finely did.

Stephen jesson   March 15th, 2009 5:59 am ET

I was charged with the same felonies. I plead them out to misdemeanors. The problem is that women use these charges as tools now to get what they want and to get back at men. The courts don't care what happened, they don't care what the truth is.

If this Chris Brown beat up this girl for real, he deserves to be sent to jail. The problem with the district attorney, the judges and 'victims' is that never matters. Innocent men are just as likely to be VICTIMIZED for sending a text message under todays laws. Women, of all types from strippers to secretaries know that they can use these laws against men whenever they feel.

The Judges don't listen or care, that 100% for sure. The District Attorneys only care about their careers.

Check my case. Check the other 1000's of cases of men being tortured and abused and destroyed by the legal system and vindictive women therefore making the truly needy woman of protection, less safe.

A stupid *** restraining order over a text message doesn't really protect the woman, till someone beats her or worse.

Since no one really cares about what really happened, nothing has changed.

Eric Gabriel   March 15th, 2009 6:07 am ET

My wife hits me sometimes. She probably has an emotional disorder. Maybe depression. It is emotionally and physically draining. She needs guidance, so we pray and turn to Christ. THIS HAS IMPROVED OUR SITUATION. OUR SITUATION IS TO LEARN HOW TO GLORIFY GOD WITH OUR ACTIONS OF LOVE. FYI, There is no substance abuse.

I'm a devoted husband and love my wife the way Christ loved the church. I will not abandon my abusive wife. That's what the bible says.
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:24-26

It sounds like you guys are saying I should throw her out until she gets her mental/spiritual act together. Good thing I turn to the bible for strength and guidance and not CNN.

Please stop encouraging men and women to break up

danielle   March 15th, 2009 6:07 am ET

I gratefully have never been abused, but when I was dating a guy went to hit me. I told he better make it good cause he only GOT one then the prison. He knew I was not kidding. And retreated, of course, he was no longer my boyfriend. He would not leave me alone after the point I had to move to get away from him. I was not living with him, and he knew that I was dead serious. Thankfully as I kicked him in the butt as he left my apartment he didn't turn around and belt me. My point is I refused to let him harm me, apologize, appease, NOTHING, Just the threat was enough for me to know I wanted nothing to do with him.

danielle   March 15th, 2009 6:24 am ET

One other thing, I went on to be happily married for almost 30 years to another man. He was kind, gentle, adored me, and NEVER abused me. His birthday would have been today, and he died suddenly on the 17th of March. Love does not hurt, life is hard, but a true marriage doesn't include games. When the right person comes along you just know that you know. My greatest advice is to "listen to that inner voice".

Linda from Italy   March 15th, 2009 6:26 am ET

Thank you for this program. While watching I felt like many of you who wrote ... heart pounding and trembling with the realization that I am not alone. I am fortunate in that I have left my abusive relationship with my 2 children. I was was married to a violent man for 20 years but who hit and kicked me only rarely. It was the emotional and psychological abuse that does the greatest damage to the woman. The constant demeaning and destroying of self-esteem that happens through verbal abuse, the threats, the sarcasm. I would also point out that abuse is not limited to social or economic classes. My abuser is a university professor, upper-middle class. Very respected in his profession. There are two faces to the coin in many cases, and because he was so respected I stayed because I felt no one would believe what was happening and I felt totally isolated and trapped. I also want to thank CNN and Larry King for addressing this issue so that this message reaches outside of the US, where the word 'abuse' is delicately avoided. I found a therapist to help me but it was with difficulty that I could get my point across due to the fact that my abuser was well-known and respected. I do hope that women in Europe and other countries begin to have the courage to seek help and I value what you are doing on this program. Always make available contact resources for viewers outside the USA, as you have done here. Thank you from my heart.

Brent   March 15th, 2009 6:36 am ET

This the another typically sexist and disgusting approach to domestic violence: that the woman is always a blameless victim and the man is the one who should carry all the guilt and receive all the punishment. First, we don't know what happened. But if we're going to go by what we've heard, I have heard that she attacked him first based on a text message he received. Why is this possibility not addressed anywhere?

Demond   March 15th, 2009 6:46 am ET

I seriously have to say that after watching this show no matter how many times it was said Chris Brown has not pleaded guilty or been convicted of anything, it seemed to be a all at assault on him. The point is no one knows what went on in that car but Chris, Rihanna, and God. She was supposed to be upset over text messages he received from someone he was involved with for many years. Whoes to say she didnt attack him first? Now is that a reason for him to do to her what he supposedly did, no it is not. But the point I am trying to make is that until all the facts are known people to to hold off on judgement.

I know alot of women that will read this will be angry, upset, or whatever, but women do hit and slap men all the time, but that is never called abuse. If it comes out that Rihanna did attack Chris first, will all these talk show hosts treat her like they treated Chris, somehow I dont think so.

Demond   March 15th, 2009 7:02 am ET

I personally have a hard time that Robin Givins was being "abused" by Mike Tyson. We are talking about a point in time where Tyson was knocking out other heavyweight boxers in a matter of minutes, and Givens never had any injuries that needed medical attention after an enraged Tyson supposedly "beat" her. Give me a break. Givens, her mother and her sister was after Tyson's money and wantedin on the spotlight. (In my opinion)

christian   March 15th, 2009 7:14 am ET

It's absolutely justified to highlighten female domestic violence, BUT why is there never anything said about MALE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, which, although not as bad, still exists and is as terrible as the other one.
The law says it's a crime for a man to hit a woman, BUT where does it say that it's a crime for a woman to hit or abuse a man??
Christian Volckaert

Janis Williams   March 15th, 2009 7:35 am ET

This is a poem I wrote for my daughter and all other victims of domestic abuse. It is copyrighted and I share it because this is a subject very close to my heart.
Her bruises were there, though unnoticed by us
Hidden discreetly, not causing a fuss.
She suffered in silence, her pain well hidden;
To tell of her agony was strictly forbidden.

Withdrawn and quiet, so afraid was she
Of every new dawn, could she ever break free?
Survival became part of her every day life;
Living with him, there was always such strife.

"Oh, God, give me courage and strength to go
Far, far away where he doesn't know."
She prayed this each day and never lost sight
Of the visions she had every day, every night.

How hard can it be to just walk away?
Go on, get out! Leave him today!
Her thoughts are silenced as he comes through the door;
Her world turns dark as she falls to the floor.

(c) 2005 by Janis M. Williams

gabriela   March 15th, 2009 9:22 am ET

I've seen Robin and the other guests today on your show...and i've read all the comments above...It is SAD what 's going on with all the abused women and men too.What i'd like to say is:this is not happening only in the U.S,it's happening all around the world.I live in Romania and many of you may say:'and what do i care of what happens in romania?'Well,i see every day on the news women&men killed by their spouse because of the gelousy,drinking,drug problems,lack of a job,in a poor family and a rich one.I see on the news this is happening in Italy,Spain,France,in every country.I see violence in schools,on my neighbours families and i see women are afraid to stand up for themselves.And the common excuse they use is:'i stay for the baby,for my child,because my child deserves a father.'Women are weak!!!Men are weak!!!What kind of man are you if you accept a woman that cheats on you,that hits you,screams,beats you,makes a scene,a neurotic woman?why do you accept this into your life?Because you are weak!!And then again...why do you turn against your woman?why do you beat,hit,destroy the woman that gave you a child?Because U R WEAK!!!!!!Only a weak man hits a woman,a child!! A disfunctional family transforms a child into the abuser of today.So,women&men all around the world WAKE UP before it's too late!!!Wake up,stand up for yourself,you are strong,you CAN DO IT!!Don't make the same mistake again,we have to LEARN from our mistakes,from the mistakes of others.ACT NOW,TODAY!!
Life is too short,cherish your life!!Don't be afraid,ask for help,don't be ashamed because you ask for help!U DESERVE BETTER!!

Elle Bennett   March 15th, 2009 10:56 am ET

It is wrong to beat "each other up". When I was being strangled a voice told me that he was going to kill me. I was on my back on the floor with him strangling me and I gathered the strength to pull my arm back and hit him in the face. It broke my thumb and it made him bleed. He cried like a baby and then blamed it all on how his father used to give his mother roses on Sunday and a beating (while he was drunk) on Saturday. I didn't call the police because I was afraid I would get into trouble for hitting him. It's their word against yours. If they have friends on the police force then the police write up anything they want and then an expensive lawyer sorts it all out in court for you. I just left and never went back.

S. Ricks   March 15th, 2009 11:13 am ET

Hi Larry, I'm sick of listening to whosoever that Opra woman is. Could you please tell her to open her mouth and look inside with the help of a mirrow, and tell the world what she sees inside. Has she ever bitten her tongue before in the process of eating? If her answer is yes, has she ever thought on removing her teeth from her mouth because she bit her tongue? There is a saying that, "the teeth and tongue figth, and still live in the same house". So Opra, Chris realized his mistake and we all make mistakes too. He loves his girl and his girl loves him too. Opra your philosophy about you hitting on a woman once, thein you will continue to hit again, is wrong. Go get yourself a man and leave Chris Brown along.

women fighting for women   March 15th, 2009 1:46 pm ET

after reading comments from men and feeling as though this act of violence is only from men if that were true then what a lie. my petition is for men and women. women do in a small percent abuse men and i dont single that out. robin there are alot of mean people in this world and they anwser to God even the christian pretenders. but God knows the heart of man each one of can only come from jesus! i have a eight step program for women and have a organization as well. anyone who needs advise contact lets change fla laws together join my team. founder, Tina marie

Charlotta   March 15th, 2009 4:59 pm ET

I would like to know the name of the psychologist (last name Katz) who gave information about abuse verses agression. I have a daughter who is agressive but whose husband is abusive. I always blamed her for "not keeping her mouth shut". However I found the comments really interesting and have since apologized to her. I would like to show the comments others and read more about this.

sherry   March 15th, 2009 5:46 pm ET


Jeanette   March 15th, 2009 10:27 pm ET

This situation is beyond ridculous in 2009. This is getting media attention because they are so called"celebrities" and the story brings in advertising money. Does anyone know since this story started how many OTHER women have been battered and murdered by men? The problem in part is due to the way this violence is classified viz "DOMESTIC VIOLENCE" This is the first change that needs to be made. When a man batters or murders another it is called exactly what it is and charges are brought immediately. Men are committing murder at much earlier ages now as the recent weeks have proved. It is not good enough to say they saw violence as children. Instead of society accepting these situations schools ought to start concentrating on men from kindergarden on how to be good members of society. Recently with the economic situation we have men wiping out whole familes because they have lost their jobs. Come on this has to be brought to a stop immediately. We are tired of all the debates and all the organisations who claim to help women in these situations. Women need to get out into the streets and demand a stop to this. Why do we have to keep fighting for rights which are given to men automatically. How many more years?
We talk about women in Afganistan and Iraq. We need to clean up our own back yard first.
As long as society sees women as something under their shoes and women sees themselves the same way it will continue.
Maybe mothers should teach girls from an early age karate so that they can flatten these men when they are approached.
Why aren't the women in the media doing something more positive?
I know when this dies down that will be the end of the talk shows until the next time.
The media and celebrities can really make an issue out of this to ensure that the law changes and these men are charged just as if they had hit another man and there is an education program which men must attend.

Liz Cohen   March 16th, 2009 2:18 am ET

Women who are victims of domestic abuse and are married, often stay because the so call "marriage contract" makes it very difficult and expensive to get out of abusive marriages. The dirty little secret is that marriage offers few real protections or economic help for women or their children if they find themselves the victims of abuse. If we are really serious about helping end domestic abuse we need to over haul mariage in this country. Everyone assumes they know what marriage is, but they don't, it's not a contract, and can't be read, nor can it be found in any legal books, although it is governed by numerous state and city regulations which vary greatly from state to state, and are not accessible to the public nor understandable to non lawyers, because they must be legally interpreted. Marriage is a partnership without a contract. When women try to leave an abusive marriage,often their partner is not going to cooperate with divorce proceedings, and they must seek legal representation, however women who are not on government assistance/poor or who are not well off , often cannot afford to fight for their rights in the divorce courts, or end up spending what little money they have to hire divorce lawyers, whose fees are unregulated, and who are free to operate without oversight. See Consumer Advocate Mark Green's book "Defend Yourself." Marriage does not protect and provide for children, I believe that many of the childen who live below the poverty level in NYC (28%do) are the result of this state of affairs. Take a look at the NYS CSSA table for childsupport, there is no minimum level of support for women and children. For example, 2 children should get 25% of what the wage earner/s earn, but first you have to prove they earn something. Also the marriage laws are vastly different from to state, so ineffect citizens are not protected equally every where in the country due to individual states laws, a woman may get a worse out come depending on the state she lives in. I believe there should be a readable contract that people can read before they decide to marry, and divorces and fees should be regulated by the government. This would enable women to get out of abusive marriages.

cidigi   March 16th, 2009 3:23 am ET

As with all women, this current celebrity story on abuse is horrific.
What a selection of guests this was hosted by Joy.
Congratulations to all participants.

Ben Allotey   April 6th, 2009 9:27 pm ET

My question is to the women who think Chris has to be hung.

If its ok defend to defend oneself, will Chris go to jail even if he was trying to stop Rihanna from causing a fatal accident if she was fighting hin when they were driving together.

Rihanna to apologise and go back with Chris, if she was the one who started the strugle between them and Chris was just trying to stop Rihanna and to stay on the road to avoid a wreck if they were driving together.


Ben Allotey   April 6th, 2009 9:46 pm ET

My question is to the women who think Chris has to be hung.

If its ok defend to defend oneself, will Chris go to jail even if he was trying to stop Rihanna from causing a fatal accident if she was fighting hin when they were driving together.

Rihanna must have apologise and gone back with Chris, because she may have been the one who started the strugle when in trafic and Chris has to stop her inorder to stay on the road to avoid a wreck when driving together. Is it ok for the girl to cause death by her action no matter what?


Janettes   April 6th, 2009 10:17 pm ET

I really do not think that in 1953 when she married my father that she choose to step into abuse that would cost her, her own life with 9 broken ribbs, her son and daughter homeless and without parents. I really do not think coming from a Catholic family of good up bringing that she planned on it. However, she left the hospital with her husband wanting to forgive him, died while trying to correct the situation, while cleaning the house from a broken rib punctureing her liver....
And my father, second degree murder charges with 6 years in prison.
People who assualt do not get better on there own.

Janettes   April 6th, 2009 10:24 pm ET

No doubt they both need counseling. But look at the abuse of physical damage on the body...and anyone can tell who lost control of ones self trying to gain control of the other....Really simple!!!

Comments have been closed for this article

Keep up to date with Larry

Follow him on Twitter

Become a fan on Facebook

Contact us
Go Behind The Scenes


LARRY KING LIVE'S Emmy-winning Senior Executive Producer Wendy Walker knows what it takes to make a great story.

With anecdotes, provocative emails, scandals, show transcripts and insights into Walker's long working relationship with Larry King, her new book PRODUCER issues readers an invitation to listen in on the most intriguing conversations on the planet.

Order from:
Barnes & Noble

King of Hearts

Larry King's King of Hearts

Saving a heart a day is the goal! Learn more about the Foundation and it's efforts to help the uninsured

Visit the Larry King Cardiac Foundation.

subscribe RSS Icon
Powered by VIP