Are Apologies Enough After Domestic Abuse?

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Sad couple embracing
Chris Brown issued an apology for assaulting Rihanna, but is more needed to end the abuse cycle?

After being accused of assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna, Chris Brown recently pleaded guilty to felony assault charges. While the assault occurred back in February, not much was heard from the Brown camp until now. The R&B singer issued a video apology where he accepted responsibility, expressed remorse and promised to take steps to prevent a repeat performance. Read: The Real Reason For Chris Brown's Apology

Rihanna was able to pull away Brown, making his apology a little different than those of many other abusers as he is not an imminent threat to her. In his apology, Brown admitted fault, apologized to both her and his fans and stated that he is seeking counseling. While he is definitely trying to win back public favor, the apology also felt sincere as Brown appeared both embarrassed and remorseful.

 

It can be argued whether Brown's apology was sincere or a ploy to win back fans. The bigger question is, how much good does an apology do in a domestic violence situation? Rihanna was able to ditch Brown after he assaulted her, but many women who suffer from domestic abuse do not have the same power. Read: Rihanna Wants To Remain Friends With Chris Brown

For these women, is an apology enough or is more action needed to ensure that the abuse won't continue? According to Mid-Valley Women's Crisis Center, the abuser goes through a cycle of abuse that includes six stages: abuse, guilt, rationalization, normal behavior, fantasy and planning, and the set-up. During the guilt stage, the abuser often apologizes to his victim as a means to side-step real punishment.

 
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