*Rihanna has been accused of sending out a dangerous message to other victims of domestic violence after admitting she still “misses” her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, who was charged with assaulting her three years ago.
Rihanna’s turbulent two-year relationship with Chris Brown ended after he left her bruised and bloodied on the eve of the Grammy Awards in 2009. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired Sunday night on “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” Rihanna said that the assault had left her in “a weird, confusing space.”
Conceding to still having feelings for Brown, she added: “I lost my best friend – like everything I knew switched in a night, and I couldn’t control that. He made that mistake because he needed help. …Who’s gonna help him? Nobody’s gonna say he needs help. Everybody’s gonna say he’s a monster without looking at the source. I was more concerned about him.”
Vivienne Hayes, chief executive of the Women’s Resource Center, said yesterday: “Rihanna’s case demonstrates the emotional complexities felt by women locked in abusive relationships. It is common for victims to blame themselves for violence perpetrated by their male partners. Whatever the nature of the argument, [Brown] chose to beat her up. He has to accept responsibility for that choice. And we need to stop society allowing us to normalize such behavior.”
Erin Pizzey, an advocate who pioneered aid for abused women by setting up Britain’s first refuge center for victims, added: “This sends out a very dangerous message to teenagers that roller-coaster relationships with violence-prone personalities are edgy and exciting. They’re not. The relationship is toxic and unhealthy. Both are in need of help and that is the message that young people should be receiving.”