The media is a buzz about Chris Brown and Rihanna these days. The coverage started after it was reported that the 19 year old Brown turned himself in after a warrant was issued for his arrest in the alleged beating of his now 21 year old girlfriend Rihanna also known as Robyn Rihanna Fenty.
Awful pictures of her injuries surfaced as rumors of a possible aborted pregnancy or the transmission of an STD to Brown hit the airwaves on black radio shows. Thanks to Rick Sanchez and other media outlets, we know from the charging documents that the rumors were just rumors.
In this month of March which has been set aside to celebrate women, Chris Brown was presented yesterday and formally charged with felony assault and making a criminal threat which is also a felony.
As the bloggers and cable news anchors twitter about Chris Brown’s alleged barbaric behavior that ensued over Rihanna finding a three page text message from a former female paramour, escalating into a beat down of the umbrella singer, I’m reminded as to how far women have come in the battle against domestic violence.
There was a time when Chris Brown would not have even seen the inside of a court room for his behavior. More than twenty years ago, a young woman was accosted in her own home by a man she was trying to breakup with. The young woman who was the same age as Rihanna already had two children by the guy who was the same age as Chris.
After climbing up a steep wall and entering the apartment from the balcony, the man took the two boys at guy point and threatened to kill the woman. At her mother’s urging, the woman called the police. The police found the man with his two sons, and arrested him However, because no gun was was recovered, the U.S. Attorney’s office refused to charge the young man.
Hours after the man was released from the lockup, he waited in an empty apartment downstairs from where the woman lived with her mother and two children.
Later that Friday night, the young woman walked her visiting girlfriend down the steps. As they approached the floor below, the young man emerged from the vacate apartment, and emptied the gun on the young lady in front of her girlfirend. The mother heard the shots and ran to the door as the young man fled.
The woman died and the authorities apprehended the young man in North Carolina after he kidnapped a citizen to facilitate his escape the citizen’s car.
Now there existed two children, two males without a mother and for certain without a father in their lives. The youngest child was barely walking at the time of this horrible event.
The Washington Post covered the story causing the U.S. Attorney to change their policy of not prosecuting domestic cases.
Fast forward to D.C.Superior Court a few months later where the U.S. Attorney’s office follows through on their promise to prosecute domestic cases. As the case was called the hearing Magistrate could not believe that the case was going forward. Most often, the cases would have to be dismissed because the victim and the assailant kisses and make up. The victim then refuses to testify. The magistrate reminded the prosecutor of this probable outcome. When that failed he bullied the female prosecutor, but she held her ground because she had her orders from the U.S. Attorney.
Court had to be recessed for an hour and I was called to the robbing room to talk with the Magistrate. I informed him of the earlier murder and reasoned with him that you would rather have to dismiss the case later than to read in the Post about a murder that could have been prevented.
As we resumed the suspect was arrainged and he was issued a stay away order.
Although Brown is being prosecuted, today, we still have along ways to go in domestic violence. Prosecuting the crime is only a part of the solution.
We still have to work on men not finding themselves in this position.
That is we need to educate men about the consequences of domestic violence.
In the Washington case, the father was sentenced to 27 years to life for the murder and kidnapping cases. The maternal grandmother received custody of the children agreeing to visitation rights for the paternal grandparents with the stipulation that the children not be taken to the Prison facility housing their father.
The boys had to grow up without a mother and father. As the boys matured, they asked about their mother and father. Eventually the maternal grandmother told them what had happened. The paternal grandparents who broke their promise took the boys to the prison to see their father who denied having murdered their mother.
The paternal grandparents backed the story, and a divison began to develop with the boys and their maternal grandmother. The boys where taken to their Attorney who had to tell them the truth. Disappointed that the father and grandparents had lied, the boys no longer wanted to have anything to do with the paternal grandparents. The fall out goes on and on.
We need to also educate women in not staying in the situation. They need to understand the consequences of submitting to such abuse.
Chris Brown himself is a prime example and could serve as the poster boy.
It appears that the Chris’ mother was in an abusive relationship with the stepfather. The relationship supposedly ended after the stepfather shot himself in the head. He survived the shooting but he lives forever in the dark being blind as a result of the self inflicted bullet. It is often said that abusers spring from abusive homes. this seem to be true in the Brown’s case
Chris’ lawyer is said to be working on a plea agreement for probation. As disturbing as his behavior is reported to have been, probation would be fine for a first offender, but he should also do some community service in a shelter for abused women and he definitely need to engage into some much needed counseling.
As for Rihanna, she too may need to volunteer in such a shelter and she may also want to look for love elsewhere.
Should Chris Brown Serve Jail Time If Convicted?
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