Teens feel Rihanna is at fault for getting beaten by boyfriend, Chris Brown

rihanna allegedly assaulted by boyfriend Chris Brown

Our values and our character have clearly been screwed up.  We’ve got work to do folks, and it may be an uphill battle.  As Powerful Words Member Schools are talking about confidence this month, we have to look at all contributors for their lack of self worth, low self esteem, and lack of regard for women’s bodies on all sides.

Singer Rihanna has been in the news lately because her boyfriend, Chris Brown, (allegedly) assaulted her in February.  Rihanna reported him and admitted to past assaults only to grant him continuance and refrain from issuing a restraint order.  What does this say to our children and teens about relationships? About values? About the importance of body safety?

Well, here it is folks.  In the Boston paper today, the results of a survey tells us that almost half of the Boston teenagers interviewed in a poll by Boston Public Health Commission said pop star Rihanna was responsible for her own beating. Yuck.   Celebrities have to watch what they say and do when it comes to kids. They have influence!

Who? Teens ages 12-19


  • Almost 50% of the 200 teens interviewed felt Rihanna was responsible for the assault
  • 71% claimed that arguing was a normal part of a relationship;
  • 44% claimed that fighting was a routine occurrence in relationships.

The issue? Teens have somehow gotten used to or desensitized to domestic violence.  Perhaps they’ve seen too much “reality” on TV.  Perhaps they’ve been exposed to too much arguing and physical arguing. Perhaps our teen’s values need an overhaul.  Oh boy, more work.

Please give your feedback– it’s time to start some important conversations here.  Don’t wait.  Do it today.

Dr. Robyn Silverman signs


6 Responses

  1. I am really sorry that teens feel Rihanna is at fault.

    I guess the feminist movement really didn’t reach these youngsters, at all.

    That’s not to say that men aren’t abused. They are. That said, we live in a male-dominated society, where patriarchy – rules the roost.

    My question: What is preventing Rihanna from setting herself free of Chris?

    We need to continue working with our girls, and our boys.

  2. Thank you for your comment and question. There are strong psychological theories about why victims won’t leave their abusers– from feelings that they can change the other person to feelings of inadequacy, to feelings of shame or that they are somehow deserving of what they get. Others don’t feel that they can “get out” and that they’re better off or safer staying than leaving. It’s a big step to leave one’s abuser and Rihanna needs as much support from her loved ones as she can get.

    We do need to keep working with our kids so that we can break the cycle and help girls connect with their power and determination to be healthy and safe.

  3. people shod learn to by their business its between Chris and Rihanna. No one is perfect and shouldnt be judging her cuz i they were in her shoes they wouldnt want people all in their business like that. No one should be judging her cuz no one is perfect. Rihanna im still a fan

  4. You cannot put toothpaste back in the tube. Once violence enters a relationship, it stays. But somehow, Chris Brown KNEW he could beat her and still have a chance to work it out. Animals sense weakness and exploit. So what goes on in a woman’s head that welcomes this? Is such a woman worthy of love from a decent man? No. She’ll never grant a decent man her love. Like an addict who goes back to crack, women like this return and, in a sad development, enjoy the beating. How can I know that they enjoy it? They go back. That’s the evidence. And the ‘feeling they can change the other person”? That’s just dishonest ‘self talk’. But EVERY SINGLE WOMAN who returns to a man who has beaten her KNOWS what she is inviting. Once she returns, she is no longer a victim. Co-conspirator. She has now welcomed the poison in her life; and anyone who tries to care for her will be poisoned as well. I’ve never met a woman who got out of this. They all return to the sewer. It’s pathetic.

  5. Unfortunately there are many people speculating and formulating answered based upon what they read and see. Unless you have been in the situation, you will NEVER know what Rihanna is feeling. Growing up most of us were taught that boys should never hit girls under any circumstances. I don’t understand tho, as women why we think its okay to hit men and at the same time DO NOT expect to get hit back. While we have been taught that it is wrong for men to hit we need to learn how to keep our hands to ourselves as well because at the end of the day they are still human with emotions and limits. I have been hit by a guy and I also have enough confidence in myself to know that he had to go. I understand that it is not that simple for everybody but it really isn’t that complicated either. Nobody can do anything to you that you don’t let them and this is what young women AND men need to understand. It’s time to mature!

  6. We’ve all seen this type of violence in our television shows, our media, and maybe even in our own homes. Out of all of my girlfriends, we’ll say one out of three has been involved in a domestic violence dispute with their boyfriends–most leave, some stay. I’ll admit, when I was younger–I stayed with my first serious boyfriend even though we had these types of problems. There is no way NOW that I would EVER allow that to happen again. The damage is permanent. I’ve built up many devastating trust issues for future relationships, and have a tendency to flinch unintentionally now to loud noises or fast hand movements. I’ve read through some of the responses to your post and many people seem to think you bring it upon yourself. That makes me very sad. I know better now, but didn’t then; I thought that arguing/fighting/violence was part of a serious relationship. Once you end up in the hospital, your whole perspective changes, because everybody KNOWS and you suddenly realize how far it’s gone and you’re embarrassed and shamed. It never seemed like a big deal when nobody knew; but once everyone knew–I was so humiliated that I didn’t even know how to react. Everyone is looking at you like you’re a victim and you’re not. You knew what was going on, and you stayed anyway.

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