Rihanna Steps Out From Under the Umbrella-ella-ella of Silence, Says She's Not Just a Victim

This happened to me…it can happen to anyone,” singer Rihanna told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an exlusive interview about her relationship with Chris Brown last week.

After months of silence following a February beat down in Brown’s car, and harsh criticism against Rihanna for not saying anything sooner, she’s finally made a statement about their relationship. And about her own failure to recognize the problem. “This happened to me…it can happen to anyone.” This Friday 20/20 will do a follow up on the interview and discuss the surge in calls to domestic abuse hot lines that followed their story with Rihanna. Also on the show, a young girl whose high school boyfriend and first love shot her in the face.

  Coincidentally, Rihanna is set to drop her new album Nov. 23. I’m glad she’s finally chosen to speak out, but I don’t like the publicity of speaking out just weeks before a new album release. It makes me wonder if the abuse was that serious, why did she have to spend months finishing a record and shooting videos before speaking out about it? Chris Brown has not only spoken out about it, he’s been sentenced and done some community service. I’m not defending the girl-beater, but Rihanna has been spotted sporting around with Justin Timberlake and partying. What kind of a mixed message is that sending girls? Don’t talk about the abuse until it’s convenient? Until you can make headlines? She has her right to privacy sure, but this feels like she’s trying to gain popularity as an abuse victim. Rihanna’s words have a lot of influence, I would rather see her as an advocate against abuse as opposed to a pop queen tying to exploit her fame with woman-done-wrong lyrics and a music video.

But Rihanna says she doesn’t want to be  defined as an abuse victim, “I always want to help young women and give them insight into life experiences. One of those things is going through an abusive relationship like I did,” Rihanna said.“But that’s one thing for me. So I don’t want to be the big domestic-violence spokesperson, because that doesn’t define who I am. But if I can help young women in any way, and that being one of the things they need help with, then I’ll do that.” I think she has a point. Maybe Rihanna wants to move on and be the girl we loved before she got into a car with Chris Brown. I think the “victimology” is being played up by the media and not by Rihanna. Just because she was hit and made a bad man choice doesn’t mean she needs to take up the flag of abused women everywhere. Lots of women face similar situations that are never made public. They step forward, do their work, meet people, move on with their lives and aren’t criticized for not speaking out. You know what Rihanna, I still love you (I was worried for awhile that I wouldn’t) but dammit, you don’t have to let no damn man or damn interviewer define who you are, how you are seen or what you will be!


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