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Rihanna showing courage and poise as she tells her story

November 8, 2009

November 6, 2009rihanna-interview_l

loveisrespect.org

National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline

We are seeing a third media frenzy over the Chris Brown and Rihanna story.  This time, the world is seeing a poised and courageous Rihanna talk about a very confusing and painful time in her life.  She is still trying to sort it out for herself.

One thing she has realized is that young girls are watching her and taking her actions seriously. In the Good Morning America interview, she said she could not take that “lightly.”

You may have noticed that some stories refer to her story as domestic violence and others as dating violence. It doesn’t really matter what you call it. Rihanna was hurt by a man who said he loved her. It was not her fault. It was his choice.

We will continue to see more of this story in the news as we all try to understand how this could have happened. It is a good discussion to have. Thank you, Rihanna for your willingness to share with us.

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November 7, 2009
Posted: 04:29 PM ET

By Sheryl Cates
CEO, The Hotline and loveisrespect

Rihanna has shown tremendous courage in speaking out, and telling her story WILL SAVE LIVES.

As a celebrity who is admired by millions of young women around the world, Rihanna has the ability to capture the attention of the nation and inspire others to leave an abusive relationship before it is too late.  She has chosen to speak out to ensure that young women going through similar situations will see that this is a serious issue and they need to take action.  Her voice will give courage to women who are suffering in silence to speak out and take action.

I’ve been asked why Rihanna should feel embarrassed and ashamed and maybe even guilty, but these feelings are characteristic of what happens when violence takes place in an intimate relationship.  You love this person and he hurt you.  It still doesn’t mean that it is your fault.  The violence was a choice that the abuser made.

Rihanna’s experience illustrates the need for education in schools.  Dating violence is preventable.  It is not an accident.

I encourage anyone who is in an abusive relationship to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224.  You can also visit www.thehotline.org for information.  We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help victims of domestic violence.

If you are a teen, sign on for a live chat with a peer advocate at www.loveisrespect.org or call us at 1-866-331-9474.

Call us.  We are here to help 24 hours a day.

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