Intimate Partner Violence Doesn’t Just “Happen”

Unfortunately for famous people, what happens in their lives becomes the topic of public attention and scrutiny. I have mixed feelings about this. Feministing touches on it. I won’t try to deal with it here. But, I thought it important to point out this terrible quote from the friend of the (apparently) famous man (Chris Brown) who recently assaulted his girlfriend, a famous singer.

“Chris is all right. He’s a good kid. He feels very bad that something like this has happened.”

I’m sorry, but “something like this” doesn’t “happen”. When you say “something like this has happened” typically you would be referring to an accident, or something that just sort of “happens.” Like in a passive or unintentional sense. For instance, a tree falls on your neighbor’s fence. Or you accidentally trip someone or you meant to throw the ball across the yard and you instead throw it through a window. When you send your girlfriend to the hospital after beating her, it does not fall into the category of being able to say “he feels very bad that something like this has happened.”

I wish, but will not hold my breath, that everyone involved with this would be able to make this a teachable moment for all the people watching and looking up to famous people. The above quote, of course, does not bode well for how this is likely to play out in the media.

Sigh.

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