To be perfectly clear, domestic assault and stalking are not a myth, fairy tale, rare occurrence or evil maniacal plot to bring your fave celebrity down. It's real. And we have to deal with it.
The love affair between singer, Chris Brown and stylist, Karrueche Tran began over seven years ago. At the time, Chris was still seeking forgiveness for assaulting his ex-girlfriend and pop star, Rihanna, while trying to maintain a place in the music industry.
Miraculously, he was able to do both.
While the couple were on-and-off again, it generally appeared that Karrueche was his little known but highly criticized ride-or-die girlfriend. She faced criticism from all around for dating the then 20-year-old Chris who clearly had issues with anger, authority, drug use and domestic abuse.
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Karrueche, like Chris's fans, saw the good in him. His immaturity to face his very real problems was labeled as a weakness and rewarded with album sales, booked concerts and music awards.
Fast forward to Tuesday (Feb 22) and it was revealed that a California judge granted a restraining order against Chris, to stay at least 100 yards away from Karrueche, her mother and her brother.
In sworn a statement, Karrueche said that Chris "told a few people that he was going to kill me." She then says Chris told the friends if he can't have her then no one else can, threatening he was going to "take me out" and "threatened to shoot me."
The 28-year-old also claims he punched her in the stomach twice and pushed her down a flight of stairs years prior, during the time he was on probation from assaulting Rihanna.
And like a tidal wave, again came those young loyal fans to Chris's rescue.
But instead of explaining why Karrueche waited until now to come forward about the alleged assault, let's talk about facts:
- One in four women have or will suffered severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
- On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide, but not all of them result in arrest.
- The most common age group of women being abused is between 18-24-year-olds.
- And 60 percent of female stalking victims are being stalked by a current or former intimate partner.
To be perfectly clear, domestic assault and stalking are not a myth, fairy tale, rare occurrence, evil maniacal plot to gain attention or fun game. And when and how victims choose to deal with this —because they're not asking for this problem— is a question of their agency, which is not our damn right to decide.
Just scrolling through Karrueche's Instagram comments, it reveals a youth so transfixed on celebrity that basic respect is ignored. Some of the comments simply say, "Die" or "Liar" but others have the gall to ask her to explain the restraining order on a man— that 99 percent of these people do not know personally.
If we're going to spend time calling out people who can do better, let's start with our boys and girls who are so quick to demonize the victim. Let's start with teaching them that domestic abuse is real and present.
That shaming makes them a part of the problem, too.