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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: DR. RO KNOWS: In her widely viewed interview with Oprah, Rihanna was the face of millions of abused women

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rihanna-cries-about-chris-brown-on-oprah Credit: Google Images

By: Dr. Rosetta Stith

And, those women even today endure the ravages of domestic abuse and violence!

Rihanna’s ordeal will help leverage bipartisan political support to renew funding for the Violence Against Women Act. Her tragic experience with violence,  like the experience of other women,  is real and horribly everlasting.

I commend Rihanna for her courage and openness which enabled her to recount her ordeal for all of America to hear; and, which included a salient factor-Chris Brown, her abuser, needs help. The need for help and counseling applies to other men who are abusers.

Her tears reflect hurtful memories of the brutal assault which  still pervades her heart and mind.  Like Rihanna, many abused women have those memories. As survivors, abused women continue to be abused.

Rihanna did what many women should do, but do not do enough. She reported this violent incident to the police. She got on the road of healing herself by recognizing that it was not her fault because Chris Brown needs appropriate behavioral/ domestic counseling.

Thank you Oprah!

Your interview will serve as a poignant reminder that as women, we have rights and a support system to deal with a domestic violence crisis including programs, relatives, and friends. Your show gave us a critical path to follow to end this level of violence.

And for Rihanna:  It’s  I Can, You Can, We Can!

Way to go!!

I have a message for expectant and parenting young mothers who have been abused.

As the former Director of The Paquin School for Expectant and Parenting Adolescents and Their Children, which was a Baltimore City Public Middle/ Secondary High School for Girls, on-site Pre-School Programs for their children,  and  part of my experience included teaching young  girls, other women in their families, boyfriends, and young fathers that violence should not be a part of their family life.

Remember, if you are the victim of abuse, you have rights.

First, call the police and report the abuse.

Second, embrace and reach out to your family and friends.

Third, take advantage of the physical and mental health programs and prevention programs, like those which were offered at Paquin, with a staff of appropriate professionals who can help you.

One of  life’s values taught at Paquin which you should embrace is that besides the importance of your education and the welfare of your child, the fact that even though we were not born together, as women we are better working together!

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