Relationships need re-evaluations

Ben Olson/Staff Writer

For the past month, the issue of dating violence has taken center stage in the media with the report of hip hop star Chris Brown allegedly beating his girlfriend, singer Rihanna. This story has proved to be a catalyst to start conversations and prevention of dating violence all over the country and has been covered on many networks, from the Today Show to Oprah.
Many disturbing facts and studies have been released this past month, showing how teens really feel about the Brown/Rihanna incident and dating violence in general.

On March 12, the Boston Public Health Commission released a survey about teen dating violence, where 200 teens ages 12-19 were surveyed, all of whom were aware of the Chris Brown-Rihanna case.

Among the findings, 71percent said arguing was a normal part of a relationship, 44% said fighting was a normal part of a relationship, 46 percent said Rihanna was responsible for the incident, and additionally a significant number of the surveyed teens thought Rihanna was ruining Chris Brown’s career.

This study really surprised me, especially when I read nearly half thought that fighting was a normal part of a relationship. I was also shocked that nearly half thought the incident was Rihanna’s fault.

In my opinion, me being someone who knows little about Rihanna or Chris Brown, I feel that everyone needs to reevaluate what a relationship is. I have never known someone or been a part of dating violence, but a relationship is supposed to be fun and comfortable for the people involved, romantically or not, and it isn’t comfortable or fun to be hurt by someone else. Relationships shouldn’t hurt, end of story.

I also think that this incident finally shows us that we can’t think of celebrities as superhuman or heroes. All over our country, there are Rihannas and Chris Browns every day who experience or deal out the violence. These two just happen to be famous, yet in reality they are still both teenagers who have fallen into the same trap that many others fall into. It has been reported that Rihanna is already back with Brown, proving again that it’s not always the right thing to do to follow what we see in the media.

Another shocking statistic from the Bureau of Justice states that one in three high school students have been or will be involved in a violent relationship.

It is also a misconception that the females involved are always the ones abused by the man, but it can go around the same way. According to WebMD, 830,000 men are battered each year.

All in all, I think the Chris Brown-Rihanna story is a horrible, but necessary wake up call for the issue of dating violence that has been overlooked for a while now. I hope this story doesn’t disappear just as fast as it came out, and anyone involved in an abusive relationship or witnessing one should get out of it or seek help. There are countless resources and clinics out there filled with advice.

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