- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 9, 2009


R&B singer Chris Brown, who stands accused of beating his girlfriend, is vigorously trying to convince the world that he “ain’t a monster” (” ‘I ain’t a monster,’ ” Taking Names, Entertainment, May 28). Though he is making every effort to deny his outrageous and violent behavior, he appears to be an abuser.

His public demeanor may mesmerize his fans, but actions speak louder than words. Contrary to his public image, there seems to be a private side to Mr. Brown that is nothing short of reprehensible, as evidenced by pictures of his battered and bruised victim, the pop singer Rihanna. The spotlights that shined on her following the incident painted a scene of notable contrast. Mr. Brown’s failure to own up to his behavior shows him to be a man who is steeped in self-absorption, who fails to take responsibility for his actions and acknowledge wrongdoing, and who condones violence against women.

He is charged with punching, choking, biting and purportedly threatening to kill Rihanna. His efforts to woo her back (part of the honeymoon phase of the cycle of violence), combined with his money, fame and popularity, are part of the disdainful form of manipulation that frequently accompanies episodes of domestic violence.

Plugging his new album, Mr. Brown views this incident as a temporary distraction and hopes to skate through it with the aid of his well-paid, high-profile attorney, Mark Geragos. Rihanna — like many victims of domestic violence — can be seen back with her beau and trying to convince others, as well as herself, that this incident will pass. Claiming that she wants to move on with her life and has no desire to testify against Mr. Brown, she sends the wrong message to other women — young and old — and her example implies that the egregious consequences of domestic violence are acceptable, when they most certainly are not.


Adjunct professor of victimology

Department of Criminal Justice

George Mason University


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