The following is a graphic excerpt from Robyn Fenty’s police report.
“She picked up his phone and read a text message from a female he had a previous relationship with…he took his right hand and shoved her head against the passenger window of the vehicle, causing an approximate one-inch raised circular contusion…he punched her in the left eye with his right hand.”
Robyn Fenty is best known by her middle name, Rihanna, and the “he” is Chris Brown who was 19 at the time and was arrested in 2009; they are reportedly dating again.
I cited this excerpt from the police report that is widely available because the eyes of teens are still fixated on this this on again/off again couple. They are looking to see what happens because, more often than not, some teens tend to formulate a portion of their relationship beliefs based on what happens with their favorite entertainers. What makes this more confusing is that they saw her and Chris brown kiss onstage at the VMA awards, her dad is inviting Chris to their home for Christmas, and the two are supposedly dating again. Many teenagers have to wonder how they can get back together especially after how violently the episode escalated between them before a 2009 Grammy event given the bruises and contusions to Rihanna’s face after viewing the “leaked” photo.
The mixed message that teens get is that this type of raucous relationship rampage is okay because it was just reported once to law enforcement. They may even think it’s laughable given the situation at the pep rally at New York’s Waverly High School where three students attempted to reenact the domestic violence that took place between the famous couple in blackface before the entire student body, faculty, staff, and administration. The released pep rally photo showed scores of smiling faces which is either an indication of confusion or acceptance.
Teenagers have to be taught that there’s nothing funny about being beaten which makes a skit like the one by these kids at Waverly High School even more somber and questionable. Beth Taylor, shelter manager for Scotland County’s Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center, shared with me that teens begin forming their opinions about relationships very early. The way they are treated, view their parents treating each other, and interact with their own male and female friends impact their future intimate relationships. Per childwelfare.gov, “…even when children are not direct targets of violence in the home, they can be harmed by witnessing its occurrence.” Youth dating and relationships are very important and should be monitored closely by the caring adults in the teenager’s lives. Mrs. Taylor added, “Teens start forming their opinions early about what is or isn’t normal in a relationship and what they will or will not accept.” She also discussed that when teens are dating, it is vitally important to watch for changes in their behaviors.
If parents and/or teens suspect teen dating violence issues, please contact Mrs. Beth Taylor at the office phone 910-276-5505 or email@example.com. The 24-hour crisis line is 910-276-6268.