Chris Brown worries me.
And it’s not just what Chris Brown did that worries me. It’s not just the fact that Chris Brown beat Rihanna, a woman he claimed to love, then left her in the middle of nowhere. It’s not just this cringe-inducing police report detailing his actions that night that worries me. It’s how willing people are not to forgive him — forgiveness I can understand — but to completely pretend like what he did never happened, or that beating someone you love against their will is ever morally justifiable.
If abusers are willing to work on themselves and actually do something to correct their actions and ensure that they never let themselves become so irrational, emotional and uncontrollable that they abuse anyone else, then I do believe there is a possibility of moving past those actions.
But here’s the thing: time and time again, Chris Brown has shown that he has not learned anything since the night he beat his girlfriend. He still places the blame for his actions on others, he’s still prone to violent outbursts, and he still goes off at the slightest offence. And all those are major red flags of a domestic abuser.
This would all be bad enough if it weren’t for the fact that people are willing to look the other way on this. People, a disturbingly large amount of people at that, are willing to enable abusive behaviour for reasons that range from at best tenuous and at worst morally repugnant. Enabling abusive behaviour, whether it comes from someone you personally know or whether it comes from a public figure, is never justifiable. Doing so sends a clear message to abuse victims everywhere: that they are weak and defenceless and that we will not help them in their time of need.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, for God’s sake, it is your moral obligation to end the cycle. To paraphrase from Dan Savage, there are emergency rooms, divorce courts and graveyards filled with people who once said, “My fiancé would never in a million years hit me.”