Chris Brown won a Grammy this weekend. This is the man, who only 3 years ago, violently attacked his then-girlfriend Rihanna in a sustained ordeal that could have ended much worse had she not been able to remove and hide the keys from the ignition while he was trying to strangle her. How can an industry celebrate a man who is still serving probation for the violent assault right before the eyes of the victim? How can an industry that has far-reaching influence all over the world, to millions of people, forget the brutal and long-lasting damage this horrendous individual has bore to his victim? How can those awarding individuals sleep at night, knowing that they are condoning the actions of a convicted violent man in front of millions of impressionable people? How can a society ever rid itself of domestic violence when it is ignored by the people in the public eye?
Last week the police report detailing the events of the night Chris Brown violently attacked his girlfriend of a year and a half, Rihanna. The prolonged and sustained attack in which he repeatedly punched her, bit her, strangled her and threatened to kill her. The reading of the police report is harrowing and sickening.
In the resulting prosecution Chris Brown received just 5 years probation. Barely a slap on the wrist.
This is not an isolated case, albeit a rather high profile case of domestic violence. Every day, all over the world similar attacks on women by their partners go unreported, go unpunished, and sometimes the result is fatal. In the UK, at least 2 women die every week at the hands of their partner.
Domestic violence is very real, it is very dangerous and the effects last a lifetime. Domestic violence is all too common, and when we live in a society that fails to protect the victims and allows the perpetrators to live free from guilt or consequence, we are unlikely to be free from it anytime soon. Nor are we likely to see any kind of decline in this crime.
Violence is never ok. I don’t care how sorry Chris Brown is, he should never have carried out such a vicious attack on a women he supposedly loved. A man like Chris Brown does not deserve success or fame. He does not deserve second chances, because no matter how sorry he tells the world, his victim will have to live the scars of his attack for the rest of her life. There is no 5 years probabtion on the emotional and mental damage she has suffered.
There are mistakes and then there is violence. We all know right from wrong, and as an adult you are ultimately responsible for your actions.
As a society we need to collectively stand up and say no to domestic violence. We need to speak out against it. We need to support the victims. We need domestic violence to become an unthinkable crime.