The physical altercation between Chris Brown and Rihanna in February of this past year has thrust domestic violence into the spotlight. Rihanna discussed the attack and her relationship with Chris Brown for the first time publicly with Diane Sawyer earlier this month. In the interview, Rihanna stated that she eventually ended things with Chris Brown after thinking about the example that she was setting for other people that are experiencing domestic violence. Rihanna stated: "When I realized that my selfish decision for love could result in some young girl getting killed, I could not be easy with that."
For anyone that saw the pictures of Rihanna's battered face following the attack, hopefully it serves as a reminder of the severity of domestic violence. In addition to Rihanna speaking out against domestic violence, teenagers are sharing their advice regarding the warning signs of a dangerous relationship. In an article on "Teenhealthfx.com", teenagers identified the following warning signs:
· Jealousy and possessiveness as opposed to mutual caring and respect.
· Drugs and alcohol use. Teens state that drug/alcohol use "are never an excuse for inexcusable behavior… A boyfriend or girlfriend who has a problem with drinking or drugs may be more likely to become abusive."
· Bullying and intimidation.
· Being embarrassed or criticized in public. This kind of verbal abuse is unacceptable and can be just as hurtful as any other kind of abuse. Do not let any kind of abuse go unnoticed.
· If games/ playfulness within the relationship mess with your mind or feelings, this is a cause for concern.
· ANY ATTEMPT TO HURT OR SCARE YOU PHYSICALLY IS A LOUD AND CLEAR SIGNAL THAT YOU ARE IN A VOLATILE AND POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS SITUATION!!
· Talk! Talk! Talk! If you feel like something is wrong, trust your gut instincts and talk with a trusted adult. Talk about your concerns and do not become another statistic of domestic violence!