Domestic violence all over media

By Janene Gibbons
March 26, 2009

The mentality that our society has about domestic violence, in my opinion, stems from this primitive, animalistic urge we all have in us that links dominance and control to romance and calls them the same thing.

The felony charges made against Chris Brown for hospitalizing Rhianna got me to do some serious thinking about what goes through people’s heads when they are in or viewing an abusive relationship from the outside. I couldn’t really make any sense of it first but then the movie “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” came on TV.

There is a scene in that movie that I feel a lot of people might call their favorite. It’s the scene where Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s characters are in their kitchen trying to shoot one another and end up having really hot sex. This was a very arousing scene in my opinion but as I watched it I felt like a hyprocite to everything I ever believed.

After I finished watching the movie, I came to the conclusion that maybe some people can’t separate movies from reality. It is similar to the argument that people have about video games that have a very real kind of stimulated violence about them.

I also thought about the millions of songs on the radio that are about hate/love relationships and the things people will do and put up with to avoid being single and alone.

I began to wonder how much of this do we transfer into our subconscious and label “hot” but are ultimately wrong.

I think the reason I can label domestic violence and scenes and music like this as wrong is because the Chris Brown/Rhianna incident and millions of stories like it. Real domestic violence is never “hot.”

It’s destructive and always ends in real physical, emotional and verbal abuse and it’s traumatizing effects stick with the victim for a really long time. In the real world domestic violence kills people, especially women.

Domestic violence is not love. If someone hurts you, they don’t love you, they hate themselves and beat you to make themselves feel better.

The Alabama Coalition Against Domestic violence, defines domestic violence as “a deliberate pattern of abusive tactics used by one partner in an intimate relationship to maintain power and control over the person.”

There are some words in that definition that pop out to me. The main one is pattern. Domestic violence is not something that happens once and then goes away after a nice talk. It’s not something you can forgive and forget because it will happen again.

Media mogul Oprah, recently stated when discussing the Rhianna and Chris Brown incident that “if he hit’s you once, he will hit you again.”

I think she is right. The people who commit these kinds of acts of violence are not someone you can fix. They’re abusers. When I heard the incident described on a talk show this past week, I listened to the actions and the words of Chris Brown. Words such as, “I am going beat the s*** out of you,” and when she made a phone call for help he said, “that was the stupidest thing you could have done now I am really going to kill you.” He put her in a headlock, bit her and continuously punched her. He could have killed her. He might next time.

Then the world hears they’re back together. I know I begin to think, what is wrong with her? Why would she ever want to be with someone who could kill or hurt her again.

But then I think about the world and what so many people seek in it. They seek control. Wars are fought in order to gain control. It feels good to be in control. I think that domestic violence is for people who don’t know how to control themselves so they have to control the other person. Abusers are cowards because they can’t look in the mirror every day and face what they are.

All I know is that this is a global issue, not just domestic violence, but this mentality and capability that we have to be over-controlling.

If we could step back and listen to one another instead of immediately wanting to control the situation, we would be better off.

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Janene Gibbons

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