Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We can all learn a lesson from Chris Brown

When Brielle's Teen Hip-Hop class began to compile songs for and choreograph their routine for their recital, they included the song “No Air” by Jordan Sparks and Chris Brown. After the recent incident, in which Chris Brown brutally assaulted his then girlfriend, Rihanna, our (parents and teacher) first reaction was to take the song out of the remix. After careful consideration, we decided to leave it in and use this opportunity to educate and empower all of the young women that will be there. A twist on this paragraph and the following information will be presented in an insert in the performance program:

Did you know that approximately one in four teenagers will experience violence in dating relationships between the ages of 12 and 21? No one has the right to disrespect you- with their words or their actions- and, certainly, NO ONE has the right to hurt you physically, ever.

Violence in teenage dating is something that transcends racial and economical lines- it could happen to anyone.

Warning signs of a potentially abusive relationship:

Jealousy of other people– won’t let the victim talk to other people; will accuse the victim of cheating
Controlling behavior – picking out the victim’s clothing; asking her/him to carry a pager or cell phone so that s/he can always be found
Unrealistic expectations – expecting her/him to be the perfect girl/boyfriend; “If you loved me, you’d….”
Isolation from friends and family – always wanting to be with the victim; not allowing her/him to go out with her/his friends; telling the victim that s/he is too close to her/his family
Blames others for problems – never accepts responsibility; “The teacher hates me, that’s why I got an ‘F,’” even if the abuser didn’t study for the test.
Hypersensitivity – easily insulted.
Verbal abuse – calling the victim names; saying the victim is stupid
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – sudden mood changes
Past battering/ any force during an argument – including grabbing the victim; not allowing her/him to leave

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above situations or if you or anyone you know has been or is being hurt by someone they are in a relationship with - please tell an adult you trust NOW!

Help and more information is also available 24 hours a day - 7 days a week by calling the Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233.

We will also have cans out, collecting donations for a local Domestic Abuse shelter. To do nothing, to ignore such a tragic event or to "hope it will just be swept under the rug- off the girls' radar- by June" (an actual comment I heard) seemed wrong. I only hope that what we have planned is doing enough.


Veronica Boulden said...

I am glad to say I had caring people who treated the user-punk I dated for a brief time in college like a disease and it made me HAVE to come to my senses. I respected them so much, I knew they loved me so much, they couldn't be wrong... and they weren't. But, not every girl has those networks, so I am glad you are sharing this.

Wendy said...

I think leaving the song in there are giving that information is a great idea! There are just too many girls out there that think being abused by the one they "love" is normal.

tommie said...

What an great way to enlighten so many...

Jules said...

Wow - that is really cool. My first gut-reaction would be to go to extremes and say, "Hell, no!" to the song. But I appreciate the approach you are taking. It is so important to empower our girls and to teach them about the reality of abuse. Sheltering them only makes them more vulnerable.

Way to go mama!! :)

PamperingBeki said...

Thank you for addressing this.

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