Would you, a guy, beat a girl? And would you, a girl, stay if you were beaten?
Following Rihanna's beating [allegedly] at the hands of her boyfriend Chris Brown - he was said to have slammed her head against the window of his car, beat her with his fists and locked her in a choke hold – and their subsequent reunion, a survey of 200 youngsters in Boston found that nearly half of them said she was responsible for the beating. Most of them said arguing was normal in a relationship and fighting was also acceptable. See here for the report.
I have always said that I would be strong enough to leave an abusive partner. I did dump a guy after he left bruises on my arm (long story made short: he was trying to stop me from exiting the car), but that could just have been the final straw that broke the camel's back in an otherwise dying relationship. And I hate liars, as that is another form of abuse - of my trust and of the relationship. But I have never been faced with a really abusive partner, either physically or mentally abusive, and I don't really know whether I would be as strong as I think I should be.
Hearing stories of friends and acquaintances facing some kind of abuse or other, also begs the question: Do I just see it differently? One girl was dragged (on her face) from a moving car, and she did not immediately leave, not to mention lodge a police report for causing hurt or attempted murder! And another's husband belittles her about her (non-existent) excess weight and so-called barely there boobs (she does so have boobs).
So is it not abuse, then? Are my perceptions so skewered that I'm mistaking love and caring for trying to kill someone - or their spirit?
Can we even call it kitty love - just like how a cat can cuddle you one second and scratch you the next - and say it's okay if people do the same? [Although this is the premise of Marley & Me, that no matter how terrible the dog was, he was loved anyway.]
So is it all about love and forgiveness?