Squeaky clean R&B star Chris Brown is accused of assaulting his girlfriend R&B singer Rhianna. While perusing the news sites and some of the not-so-news sites and in reading the comments the usual edict of "men should never hit women" came up over and over.

I use to agree with this whole-heartedly. However, today the more I read people's arguments that no matter what a woman does a man should never hit her, I began to think about how stupid that sounds.

"Men should never hit women and women should never hit men."

When did it become cool to give anyone a free pass to do whatever they want with the assurance that they are always in the right? Now before anyone jumps and accuses me of blaming the victim - I don't know what happened with the young stars and I'm as saddened by the incident like everyone else, but I am not going raise my daughters to believe in this ultra-PC double standard.

My girls are equal to any person, regardless of race or gender and they do not have the right to do whatever they want to another person.

They do not have the right to hit their boyfriends or husband.

They do not have the right to go to a significant other's house and "get revenge" by destroying property.

This behavior isn't cute, funny or applause-worthy. How about we stop putting a gender caveat on the situation and teach - don't hit. Period.

No one earns or deserves a beat-down, we need to teach ALL of our children coping mechanisms to deal with difficulties in a relationship and to know when it's time to leave before things get out of hand.

I'm pregnant with my third child that we think is a boy. I will teach him like I teach my girls that no one has the right to hurt you and you don't have the right to hurt ANYONE else.

I will also have to teach him some hard lessons including what to do if he's ever pulled over by the cops as a black male to stay alive and protect his rights and that no matter the situation, he is always guilty until proven innocent if he is ever accused of domestic violence. Neither are fair, but both are the realities of the world in which he will grow up.

Intimate Partner Violence Against Men

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Comment by Terreece M. Clarke on February 24, 2009 at 4:26pm
Thank you everyone for your wonderful and heartfelt comments. It just goes to show there is still a lot of dialogue that needs to take place.
Comment by Working-mom-of-2 on February 15, 2009 at 6:56am
Comment by Ms. Pinkpetals3232 on February 14, 2009 at 3:28am
This post really hit home. When i was in college, I was involved with a guy that became my husband after I found out I was pregnant by him. He was real nice in the beginning. People use to see us in the street and would say that we made a good couple. It all changed I want to say when i was in my lfifth month of pregnacy. He started with the verbal, then it went to physical. He pushed me one time when i was carring the baby. And I thought it was my fault, (yea right) Nothing happend after that for a while. Then right before our wedding he got pissed because our bedroom was not clean. i thought he was joking until i found myself picking myself up off the floor. Once again I thought it was me. i would question myself what did i DO ? Ok time went on, our son turned 1 years old, I was going to get my son pictures taken, He put the act on in front of my family, we left my parents house for what i thought we were going to get pics taken, and the abuse started and it was the worst its kind. He pulled the car over to the side of the road, and started hitting me in my face, he broke my nose and i had a fist print on the side of myface. This incident went on all the way back to our house. He threatened to kill me as well. I wanted to jump out the car and run into traffic, but I had my son in the back of the car watching this. The reason i am bringing this up is because What happend with those two stars, I feel that as mad as you are, you should not put your hands on each other at all!!! I am 36 now divorced and i am raising my 15 (soon to be 16 )year old son that you do not put your hands on no woman, and in turn she should not put her hands on you. Walk away!!! I am in a relationship now, and this man knows not to Pull It with me!!! Or else it will be a misunderstanding!!!! You get strong after you have been through something like what i have been through. I hope that they can do the same.
Comment by Kara Norman on February 13, 2009 at 3:44pm
Excellent point Terreece!! As a director of an empowerment group for pre-teen and teen girls I blogged about this topic with a focus on the increased number of dating violence in teen relationships. This situation has opened up so many different topics that need to be addressed like your blog says. Here's some alarming statistics that I featured in my blog in regards to how this situation is happening to many of our teens especially girlsLove Shouldn't Hurt! ~ Protecting Our Teens from Abuse/Violence

Found on www.loveisrespect.org
The findings were astounding. The results show that alarming numbers of teens experience and accept abusive behavior in dating relationships. Many teens also feel physically and sexually threatened.

*1 in 5 teens who have been in a serious relationship report being hit, slapped or pushed by a partner.
*1 in 3 girls who have been in a serious relationship say they've been concerned about being physically hurt by their partner.
*1 in 4 teens who have been in a serious relationship say their boyfriend or girlfriend has tried to prevent them from spending time with friends or family; the same number have been pressured to only spend time with their partner.
*1 in 3 girls between the ages of 16 and 18 say sex is expected for people their age if they're in a relationship; half of teen girls who have experienced sexual pressure report they are afraid the relationship would break up if they did not give in.
*Nearly 1 in 4 girls who have been in a relationship (23%) reported going further sexually than they wanted as a result of pressure.

As technologies like cell phones and social networking become a common form of communication, they can also be used to abuse and control.
*One in three teens (30 percent) say they are text messaged 10, 20, or 30 times an hour by a partner inquiring where they are, what they're doing, or who they're with.
*68 percent of teens say boyfriends/girlfriends sharing private or embarrassing pictures/videos on cell phones and computers is a serious problem.
*71 percent of teens regard boyfriends/girlfriends spreading rumors about them on cell phones and social networking sites as a serious problem.

Twittermoms, what has or is allegedly happened to the famous teen idol is happening around the world at alarming rates. We have to take a stand to fight against this and demand respect and know/teach what is truly a healthy relationship for teens especially. So as we learn more about this tragic situation and the details lets focus on how to prevent things like this from happening!
Comment by Erica on February 13, 2009 at 8:51am
Good point Terreece. I also keep hearing the whole, "well they're young, everyone goes through this when they're young..." Uh--No! Young, old and in-between, like Benjamin said, it's wrong at any age and unfortunate for everyone involved.
Comment by Benjamin Taylor on February 13, 2009 at 4:37am
Thanks you for saying this. This hits home with me as a former victim of intimate partner violence. Unfortunately I had, like many other men have, no real recourse. Even the law in the state where I live mentions domestic violence as a crime against women, suggesting that men cannot be victims of violence and abuse. In fact, domestic violence is a serious crime against men. The American Journal of Public Health reported a study conducted by the CDC which states women commits acts of violence against men more frequently than men against women:

Almost 24% of all relationships had some violence, and half (49.7%) of those were reciprocally violent. In nonreciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases. Reciprocity was associated with more frequent violence among women, but not men.

When the Chris Brown/Rihanna story broke, I wanted to write about this topic over at my new blog, Big Piece of Chicken, but was afraid of backlash. I have two daughters as well and I hope through attrition they do not become violent, angry or abusive adults. It's wrong no matter who the perpetrator and anyone can be a victim.
Comment by JJ Blum on February 11, 2009 at 10:05am
THANK YOU!!! I have a male friend who is suffering in silence because his wife physically and emotionally abuses him. He feels ashamed and afraid to tell anyone because he feels it makes him less of a man! WOW! I think this is a good step toward raising our boys and girls to a more peaceful and empowered adulthood!
Comment by InfantBows on February 11, 2009 at 8:23am
Great point! I think it should start with how you treat other people when your angry, especially your significant other. It starts with showing respect and getting your feelings out in a respectful way. No name calling, pushing, throwing things, etc. If you can keep your emotions in check, then the hitting won't ever come up. There have been time that I or my husband will say, "I gotta go" of " I will be back" and we leave the house to cool off. Sometimes it will be just sitting on the porch and getting ourself calm. This takes work, but if you talk about it as a couple and make it a goal, then it really helps keeping with the game plan. I do this with my children as well. We have 1 major rule at our house, "Respect yourself and others".
Thanks for bringing up such a great topic!
Comment by HeidiWF on February 11, 2009 at 7:58am
Great post. I wonder if this applies to corporal punishment. It seems with corporal punishment, kids learn that hitting is the right way to deal with someone who has wronged you. Thoughts?
Comment by B. R. Garcia on February 11, 2009 at 7:07am
When my daughter was in 3rd grade, she grew her fingernails long. I thought it was cute until I discovered that the girls her age had long fingernails so they could pinch the boys and draw blood!! And the boys could not defend themselves because the offenders were girls! I made her cut her fingernails and had the first of many long talks with her about the fact that it is NOT okay to hurt boys. In the 15 years since then, I have been horrified again and again by the things some girls do to hurt boys, both physically and emotionally, because they can get away with it. I raised 3 girls who know better, but they seem to be a rare commodity in today's culture.




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