It was after a pre-Grammy party on Saturday night, Feb. 7, that singer Chris Brown supposedly assaulted his girlfriend, R&B star Rihanna. The assault reportedly place in Brown’s car, which was parked on an LA side street. After the assault, police were called and Rihanna was left battered and bruised. Brown was charged with criminal threats and turned himself into the LA police. Both Brown and Rihanna were no-shows for the Feb. 8 Grammys, even though they were both scheduled to perform.
After the assault, Rihanna traveled back to her native Barbados to begin her healing process. She canceled many of her shows from her recent tour and other visits that were planned. Brown and Rihanna have both been avoiding the public eye. However, it is Brown’s career that is suffering the most from the incident. His endorsement companies have dropped him, radio stations have refused to play his music, and many of his fans have lashed out negatively toward him.
Allie Kakareka, Bloomsburg University student stated, “It’s crazy. I never realized abuse situations are so common, until celebrities are involved, and the situation is brought into the public eye.”
This situation raises a lot of concern to many people. Rihanna is not the only woman ever to be assaulted, but it seems this situation is special because of the celebrity status. Celebrities might be rich and famous, but they also have the burden of having the media following them everywhere making their private business public. Domestic violence is an ongoing problem all around the world, and the United States is far from immune. According to the latest records done by metroplus.org, a health organization, anywhere between 3 and 4 million women are abused in the United States every year. The exact numbers are unknown because many women are afraid to come out and talk about the domestic and sexual abuse. Luckily there are places around the country trying to help victims.
The Bloomsburg Women’s Center shelter is trying to provide some comfort to those affected by domestic and sexual abuse. Danielle Volm, Bloomsburg University student, said the Women’s Center, “is very inspiring for both the women running the center and the women who make use of the center.” They offer emergency shelter for battered women and children. The center also provides individual and group counseling for those who are in need. They also supply medical advocacy, safety planning, and have a 24 hour confidential hotline for people struggling with abuse symptoms. The shelter has been specializing in attempts to spread prevention educations, so these abuse cases happen less frequently.
Jillian Gibson, Bloomsburg University student says, “It (the women’s center) will help other women who aren’t brave enough, or too scared to get help. It will give them courage to see other women in their position getting help.”
The Women’s Center is providing many women and children with the help they need to get back on their feet after being abused. Staff and volunteers understand the numbers of abuse cases are growing each and every year. The Center is attempting, one case at a time, to prevent the statistics from rising any higher. Luckily for the abused women the center has helped, it did not take a high profile case like Rihanna and Chris Brown’s to get their attention.
“It is a shame that the world has come to this, that in order for people to pay attention to the underlying problems in America it has to happen to a celebrity, and be broadcasted across every media source available, including the internet, magazines, and television,” stated Allie Kakareka. It is important to remember that even when the celebrities are getting all the attention for certain things, many times the same situation could be happening to a friend, a family member, or even an acquaintance”
The Bloomsburg Women’s Center is working around the clock to help the people in need. It is never too late to get help, and for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, it’s good to know that someone, somewhere, in this community cares enough to help.