After much reflection last night, I felt in my heart that I needed clarify the story that was broadcasted on WDIV last night. The interview that was conducted was approximately 20 minutes long. There were many good questions regarding domestic violence and what a woman goes through when she is in a relationship that is abusive. The story that was broadcasted last night pulled bits and pieces from the interview to sensationalize Rihanna’s decision to engage in a working relationship with Chris Brown. Whenever we agree to do a media story, this can happen. Unfortunately we never see the end product prior to broadcast.
My concern with what was shown last night was the appearance of victim blaming, specifically Rihanna. One of the biggest problems in our society is blaming the victim and not focusing on the abuser. I felt that the story last night did this. I made statements such as “none of us know where Rihanna is in her recovery right now…..she may be in a good place in which she can have healthy boundaries with Chris Brown”….etc. This piece was not shown and I feel that the statements that were extrapolated from the interview made it look like 1. I was victim blaming and 2. I was judging Rihanna’s decision to have a professional relationship with Chris Brown. This was not the case nor the focus of the interview in my mind.
I feel like anytime we have the opportunity to get information out regarding domestic violence and HAVEN, it is a good thing. I do not have any regrets for agreeing to this interview, however I do hope that in the future, stories can focus more on what the abuser did and where the abuser is and NOT continue to blame the victim.
I owe a debt of gratitude and thanks for all that HAVEN has done for me and my family. My intention is to always provide education and awareness on domestic violence (DV) and sexual abuse (SA), and to never victim blame. My intention is to set a positive example and portray what HAVEN has taught me regarding my own DV relationship and to assist other victims who need help.
Thank you for listening.
Julie Ladwig, survivor of DV and SA