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Exposure

The column speaks for itself. But it isn’t mine… This comes from journalism freshman Robert Baker. Robert examines domestic violence and looks the Chris Brown situation in a way that that national media has not.

Click here and up his views at the Kernel!

Domestic abuse should be discussed in order to stop the cycle of violence

March 12, 2009 by Opinions

Column by Robert W. Baker

When news first broke of R&B artist Chris Brown’s appalling attack on his fellow Billboard Chart-topping girlfriend Rihanna one night before the Grammy Awards in February, I knew this would not end well for Brown. Sure enough, week after week, details slowly emerged that exposed Brown as the villain. My first reaction was to write his career off and pray that the couple worked their problems out in therapy, but after a magazine interview of Brown resurfaced from 2007 describing how he witnessed his mom receiving beatings from his step-father, I had to take a fresh look at this situation and piece together the reasons for this brutal assault.

I want it to be known that I do not condone beating anyone, and I am not excusing Brown for his alleged domestic violence. However, I do feel strongly that psychological and physical child abuses are two of the most damaging events that can occur to someone. While a child’s brain is developing from age 7 to 13, traumatic events, such as witnessing their mother being beaten and bloodied, can leave a lasting scar in their subconscious mind even though the physical beating did not happen to them personally.

Children who endure abuse are at a greater risk of harvesting aggression, acquiring substance abuse problems, battling depression and even losing the ability to control emotions. Sound familiar? As revealed in the 2007 interview with Giant Magazine, Brown admitted that he still wanted to violently murder his abusive stepfather with a baseball bat. His bottled up aggression had been present years before his pre-Grammy night incident with Rihanna. Brown did not attempt to rectify the revulsion for his stepfather before he lashed out at someone else.

Most people believe that when you experience something terrible, you automatically rule out inflicting that much pain on someone else. The opposite could not be truer. Studies have shown that a victim of child abuse or neglect has a one in three chance of becoming an abuser to loved ones of their own. Combine that with little to no counseling for the abuse one witnessed or personally felt and a lack of education on the levels of emotion related to abuse, undeniable statistics and percentages of child abuse, and you have an explosive character waiting to act out by abusing self (alcoholism, drug abuse) or others (domestic violence, child abuse).

Just as with many women, men, children and elderly, the person being abused did not step forward and shake off their abuser and no one stepped forward to intervene in the situation. This is the most shocking thing to me. I understand that someone may not “feel ready” to take control of this terrible situation they find themselves in. But by trying to hide the abuse, the illusion is given that the violence only affects the abused.

Oftentimes people feel these situations blow over or that they are immune to the repercussions of the actions. Instead of thinking of domestic violence and child abuse as individual events scattered randomly throughout different lives, people need to compare it with a terminal illness. For example, if I had cancer, I would not face it alone. Self-help groups, professional help and medical treatments are in place to help me and are widely advertised and promoted. I cannot miss those events and signs.

We should do the same for abuse. The more everyone steps up, the more light shines on the issue, and the more people know that we will not stand for it.

Robert did a great job and this will not be the last time you hear from him!

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