Relationship Violence Made Real

Trigger warning.
Do Something, an organization “using the power of online to get teens to do good stuff offline,” has made a video re-enactment of the Chris Brown/Rhianna conflict as part of their 1 in 3 Campaign (designed to education young people about dating violence). It’s obviously based on the actual police notes from the incident, making it highly realistic and unavoidably horrifying:

While I could understand why some people would be outraged by this bold PSA tactic, I’m completely in support of what Do Something is doing. They’re making the incident–which has been so obscured by the media hype, ignorant commentary from pundits and the public alike, and so much disrespect–real again. A woman, a man, out of control emotions, and inexcusable violence. If Rhianna weren’t already horribly outed by this whole incident, I might feel like it were an invasion of her privacy, but at this point, it’s just so public. It seems like the most respectful thing we can do for Rhianna is make sure that this whole thing inspires young people to get educated about relationship violence–as the ad does.
What do you think?

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  • Jamie073

    That’s so weird, I was just about to ask this same thing. Thanks for bringing it up. At what point is it ok to use someone’s story for educational purposes, even if they are famous? Although we all seem to agree that it was wrong of the media to makes a circus out of this incident, since they’ve already done it is it still wrong to use her story to raise awareness?
    I think I’m with you and the other commenters in believing that the story of any number of survivors could have been used with their consent to the same effect. If the police report from some unknown conflict was used then several issues could have been avoided. Actually, it would be interesting to see a series of videos using actors with a mixture of different races, ages, and genders to recreate the same transcript. That would really drive the point home for me.

  • alanagkelly

    I’m not sure how you’d like me to clarify when there are plenty of obvious reasons why young women need to be aware of the realities of domestic violence.

  • Mollie

    A lot of people have beef with the fact that the actors are white, which is the first thing I noticed too when Courtney stated that this was a reenactment of the Rihanna-Chris Brown attack. But a couple of things have led me to believe that the purpose of the video wasn’t to simply visualise that particular attack.
    The actors were white, obviously. The intro doesn’t explicitly state “compiled from actual notes ABOUT RIHANNA AND BROWN”. I think the idea was that if people have Chris Brown and Rihanna in their head as they watch this video, they’ll be less likely to view the video in the context of domestic violence. The “glamour” and stigmas, and “she gave him herpes so she deserved it and I love Chris Brown’s music” argument will be less dominating if people don’t have that in their head as the start to watch the video.
    Once they realise what police report is being read, it will all start to fall into place in their mind.
    I think that was the filmmakers’ intention, anyway.

  • Brittany-Ann

    I don’t see how this is disrespecting anyone’s privacy–the police report is public record.
    Furthermore, I think not discussing these things under the banner of respect for privacy is dangerous. The incident has opened up a lot of dialogue, especially with groups who wouldn’t normally be interested in hearing about domestic violence. Not all of it may be pretty or encouraging, but at least it’s getting out in the open, in all its ugliness. Exposure is the first step.

  • Jeanette

    Unless we’re talking about a playful tap, I have to respectfully disagree and say that hitting out of anger is always abuse, regardless of whether the man or the woman is doing the hitting. And I don’t believe that emotional abuse, as horrible and wrong as it is, is a license to defend one’s self by responding with violence.
    I mean, would this argument work if you turned it around, and it turned out he hit her because she was emotionally abusing him? Would that not be the same as saying that she was “asking for it”?

  • Jeanette

    I’m betting that Velvet Acid Christ is the same asshat from the article.
    If you click on the link for the article he just “happened” to find, it’s a bunch of misogynistic men’s rights bullshit. (Did you know that the VAWA is unconstitutional? That most women’s shelters are actually unnecessary, but continue to be funded because of “ideological feminists” trying to preserve their livelihood? Or that if a woman hits a man, he deserves a fucking medal for not responding by trying to kill her? Oh, and , BTW, it’s true that Rihanna hit Brown first, because TMZ says so.)
    Fucking trolls.

  • Alexandr

    Heh, I went back and found another comment that “Velvet Acid Christ” made a day after the ones that I quoted:
    “Velvet Acid Christ says:
    Lots of women commenting. I suspect an anti-male feminist blog has a link to this page. {Trolls!} My advice is simple, stay in your world and I’ll stay in mine. Your infecting this site like some kind of fungus.”
    It’s adorable. Not one to take his own sage advice, is he?

  • Alexandr

    And another one from the 20th:
    “Velvet Acid Christ says:
    Top Ten Reasons Why Women Are Offended By This —
    1. Your so fat you put mayonnaise in your morning coffee
    2. You have more chins than a Chinese phone book
    3. You haven’t seen your toes for 5 years
    4. You have ‘cankles’
    5. You use a pool cover as a rain coat
    6. You have fat on your eye lids
    7. You menstruate Spaghetti sauce
    8. Instead of chewing gum, you chew bacon
    9. When you go to KFC, you only eat the skin from the chicken.
    10. Kids play handball off your but when you bend over”
    Meh, try harder.

  • voluntarydeviant

    I wish I had a video to watch re-enacting the physical abuse I endured from my husband. This would be very helpful to me at times.