“It’s not OK” – Caitlin Roper talks Chris Brown and violence against women

*Trigger Warning – violence against women*

Collective Shout’s WA State coordinator was asked for comment about Chris Brown and Rihanna for OK magazine.

Despite R&B singer Chris Brown having brutally beaten pop star Rihanna in 2009, the pair appear to have resumed their relationship. Caitlin tells OK magazine that the emphasis needs to be on Chris Brown. He and other perpetrators of violent crime should be held accountable for their actions.

The night Chris Brown beat Rihanna, he punched her in the face to the point that her mouth filled with blood. He put her in a headlock causing her to begin to lose consciousness. He bit her. He screamed at her “I’m going to beat the shit out of you when we get home.” This was a vicious attack by an animal.

A few years on, Rihanna has forgiven him and continued a relationship with her abuser. Rihanna is a woman and should have the freedom to make her own relationship choices regardless of what anyone else things – however, given her large fan base, what she does means something. Whether or not Rihanna wants to be a role model for her young fans, it is undeniable that they look up to her to know how to be attractive, how to be sexy and how to be a woman.

Of course, survivors of violence have often been subjected to psychological pressure and can be vulnerable to returning to their abusers. The emphasis needs to be on the abuser, though – perpetrators need to be held responsible for their actions. Chris Brown is yet to accept responsibility for his behaviour, as showcased by his Twitter feed and incessant complaining about the public’s inability to forgive his brutal attack.

Caitlin Roper is WA’s State Co-ordinator for Collective Shout – campaigning for a world free of sexploitation (collectiveshout.org)

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One Comment

  1. Posted 21 Feb ’13 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    “With great power comes great responsibility…” glad you reiterated this stance in a pop culture teeming w/celebrification with massive influence on media message to kids/teens particularly in this realm of violence against women. I wrote at length about the duo’s Grammy PR antics the year prior impacting public health: http://bit.ly/Y1w2IY

    This year I was heartened to see the ‘official’ Grammys pander LESS to their reuniting (a random pan, but mostly ignored them) sadly the rest of the media did not follow suit and instead hyped the ‘cuddle shots/forgiveness’ angle pre and post show doing damage for ratings-baiting in a blink. With the rise in teen dating violence (and Feb. being teendvmonth.org) it’s particularly disturbing that the over-arching msg being sent is a dangerous ‘molotov cocktail’ blending recidivism and restitution shaken and served at high volume en masse via media pundits. For teens without as much experience in what makes for ‘healthy relationships’ it’s a particularly volatile “tornado warning” that perpetuates violence against women. Not helpful. At. All.

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  1. [...] 2013 Update: A collective shout…No, it is NOT “ok.” Glad to see some media coverage on the toxic messaging being sent with this reunification of [...]

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