I felt like a fucking monster.

Chris Brown and Rihanna were the power couple gone wrong. For those who forgot, the two were involved in a physical altercation in February of 2009. Brown was found guilty of felony assault and the world hasn’t been the same ever since. In his new documentary, “Chris Brown: Welcome To My Life”, the singer opens up about the incident.

The Dirty Details

The pair started off like high school crushes, but instead of passing each other in the hallway they’d pass each other in award shows. They eventually became a couple and showed it off during the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs). Their relationship shot them up higher than ever and it got to the point where they couldn’t even go out to eat at a restaurant without being bombarded by fans and press.

It began with Brown and a female coworker he hooked up with prior to their relationship. The thing here is, Rihanna had asked him about the certain girl before and he lied. He lost all her trust and even went as far as saying that Rihanna hated him, and that’s where it all went downhill. Verbal arguments turned into physical fights that stemmed from both sides, but if there’s one thing Brown has learnt from this ordeal, it’s that “It was never okay.”

Their issues surfaced to the public when they were caught fighting on the road. Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy party in 2009 was attended by many artists including Radiohead, the late Whitney Houston, Coldplay, along with a woman Brown was once involved with. Although she had sent him a text about attending the event, he never read it in full. Rihanna, on the other hand, did. In the heat of the moment, she throws the phone and begins hitting him. Brown continues to convince her that he was totally unaware of her attendance, but she doesn’t buy it. This when it got messy.

“Like I remember she tried to kick me, just like her beating shit, but then I really hit her. With a closed fist, like I punched her, and it busted her lip, and when I saw it I was in shock, I was ‘fuck, why did I hit her like that?’”

Brown turned himself in and plead guilty to assault. Everyone took their stance against him and their relationship rightfully came to an end.

The Impact on Rihanna

In a 2012 interview with Oprah, Rihanna spoke of how embarrassed she felt because of the media coverage it received. The negative psychological impact came out in her music, clothes, and attitude and she couldn’t handle how heavy it was. It prompted her to forgive him and repair her relationship with her father as well. She’s moved on from the ordeal and has dated other notable figures like Travis Scott, Drake, and currently Saudi billionaire Hassan Jameel.

The Shame of Domestic Violence Victims

Many people think domestic violence only comes in the form of physical abuse, but there is also such a thing as verbal abuse. Domestic violence occurs when one person in the relationship feels like they have complete power and control over their partner, and they choose to abuse to gain and maintain that control. It doesn’t have to be a punch in the face or a kick in the balls to be domestic violence.

The whole thing turns into a cycle and it leaves long-lasting and sometimes permanent effects to their mental and physical health. The idea that they want the abuse to stop but not the relationship is a coping mechanism done by many victims. On top of that, victims often feel ashamed and guilty, and make excuses for the abuser which is why they refuse to speak up about the problem. The fear of judgement lies heavy with them, which is why we should never shame them for being unable to easily get out of an abusive relationship.

When someone going through that cycle opens up to you, please listen. Please don’t shame them for not speaking up earlier. Encourage them use all their strength to leave the relationship and, if necessary, call the authorities.

If you or someone you know is going through this, call the NBI-Violence Against Women and Children Desk: 523-8231 to 38 / 525-6028