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Domestic violence is not a mistake

Courtesy of Variety

By McKenzie Ward

Opinions Editor

Chris Brown, American R&B rapper, posted on his Instagram story addressing the backlash he and Chloe Bailey received after revealing their collaboration on their upcoming track, “How Does It Feel.”

In an all-text Instagram story, Brown wrote, “If y’all still hate me for a mistake I made as a 17-year-old please kiss my whole entire a–.”

The mistake Brown is referencing is when he physically abused his then-girlfriend Rihanna in February 2009. Brown was 19 years old at the time of the assault, according to Billboard.

According to People magazine, Rihanna was left with visible facial injuries and was hospitalized, and Brown was later charged with felony domestic violence which he later pleaded guilty to.

Brown accepted a plea of community service, five years of probation, and domestic violence counseling, according to People magazine.

For Brown to refer to this incident as a “mistake” is beyond disgusting.

A mistake is when a server brings you the wrong drink.

A mistake is when you forget to add eggs to your cake mix.

A mistake is NOT beating someone so badly they are left with visible facial injuries and need to be hospitalized.

In the post, Brown stated, “I’m ******* 33!” in an attempt to show he is “too grown” to be dealing with people being upset with him.

But instead, what it shows is that Brown has refused to accept that what he did to Rihanna is vile, disgusting, and was a choice that HE made.

Each and every day thousands of individuals across the United States are stuck in abusive relationships where their partners are either physically, emotionally, financially, or verbally abusive.

And for Brown to refer to how he violently assaulted his then-partner as a mistake downplays the severity of domestic violence and the impact it has.

On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by a partner in the United States, according to The National Domestic Violence Hotline.

And according to Project Sanctuary, a full-service domestic violence and sexual assault crisis intervention responder to the entire country, on a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls made to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.

Just last week I noted the three-year anniversary of leaving my abusive ex-partner - one of the hardest choices I have ever made for myself but one that I believe saved my future.

And while I was lucky enough to have the chance to leave a mentally and verbally abusive relationship, there are thousands across the country who cannot leave their relationships without fear of being beaten or worse - killed by their abuser.

In the United States alone, each day there are at least three women who are murdered by a current or former intimate partner, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

And according to the CDC, one in five homicide victims is killed by an intimate partner.

The most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is when the person being abused decides to leave.

And while Brown may claim what he did to Rihanna was a “mistake,” it is far from it.

By claiming that physically abusing someone is a mistake, it not only lessens the serious nature of domestic violence, but it in a way also diminishes the trauma the survivor experienced.

As a survivor of a relationship that was both mentally and verbally abusive who still struggles with the trauma associated with my experience, after reading what Brown wrote, I began to even question if my trauma was valid.

For those who have been abused by a partner, no matter what others say, your trauma is valid.

While Brown may claim he made a mistake, he chose to be violent toward his partner.

Just like every other abuser chose to abuse their partner.

Abuse is never a mistake. It is a choice.

National Domestic Violence


Voices Against Violence:

Framingham State University Domestic Violence Unit:


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