Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dead Woman Walking

Over the years, women have come a long way in terms of getting the police and prosecutors to take their complaints of domestic violence seriously. I still vividly remember a San Diego policeman's callous discussion with me as he explained the only thing my restraining order was good for was for figuring out who might have killed me should I turn up dead. Yet ... young women like Rihanna don't seem to be paying all that much attention to the experiences so many of us fought for so desparately just to be able to survive.

Rihanna should take heed of Oprah's sincere warning. "If he hit you once, he WILL hit you again!" Chris Brown didn't just "hit" Rihanna, he literally beat her up ... enough that she'll need some reconstruction surgery ... and then he threatened to kill her. Believe me, he'll do it again and she'll be lucky to survive the second attack. And I'm speaking from experience when I say that.

Young women can be a bit naive and think "oh ... he loves me ... and he'll change." Yep ... been there ... done that. I can attest that he will change alright ... but probably not in the direction she's expecting. The violence will only escalate. As a survivor of a domestically violent first marriage and having personally looked down the barrell of a loaded 45 before being able to finally talk him out of killing me, I can attest to the fact that it doesn't get better, but in fact, gets much worse. Had I not been in the Navy and had they not shipped me half way around the world (to Iceland ... of all places) ... I'd probably have been buried 6' under somewhere in San Diego long, long ago. I was also lucky not to have any children at the time ... which probably would have guaranteed him the access to me that he would have needed to carry out his threats of continued violence. After all ... in his mind, I wasn't a human being, I was his personal property, to do with as he pleased.

Walk away now Rihanna, and count yourself lucky if he never darkens your doorstep again.

Video: Oprah Warns Rihanna

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