Cycle of Responsibility

Rihanna is coming to Vancouver. I used to like her. I can’t bear to listen to her anymore. All I see in my mind’s eye are the contusions on her face, her swelled lips, disfigured cheekbone and the furtive, haunted, numbed out look in her eyes the moment that image was captured and shared with the entire world.

Nevermind her Vogue covers. Nevermind her No. 1 hits. This is a girl who got her face punched in by her boyfriend who is now caught in a sad cycle of abuse with her abuser.

Oh, you think it’s none of our business? It’s their business? Well, maybe. But it bothers me that what is so clearly a toxic, messed up relationship is accepted as perfectly normal in our society. It isn’t. In case you aren’t familiar with the cycles of abuse, they go like this:


Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Rihanna and Chris Brown have moved from the ‘Reconciliation’ into the calm phase. But we don’t have to. We don’t have to forget the incident happened or pretend no abuse took place or is taking place. We can actively say to our daughters or young people we know that we as adults can recognize an abusive cycle going on here. Maybe, just maybe, if more adults looked closely at abusive cycles happening all around them, fewer young people would become victims. Speaking on that subject, let’s hope the new Pope will lead his church towards being the kinds of leaders who can recognize, and stop, abuse cycles as they happen or better yet, prevent them from ever starting.


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Filed under Non-fiction

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