Family, Self

Hollywood: Portrayals Of Domestic Violence

Hollywood: Portrayals of Domestic Violence

As a survivor of domestic violence, this is a subject close to my heart, and it leads me to asks questions like:

- What responsibility does Hollywood have for depicting healthy relationships?
- Do they accurately represent abusive relationships?

You’ve undoubtedly seen the headlines and read the stories, as there are cases upon cases of such violence. One relatively recent example has to do with the controversy surrounding Eminem and Rihanna’s music video for “Love The Way you Lie,” which depicts the emotional highs and lows, resentment and lies, and even physical altercations in one specific abusive relationship. In the video, actress Megan Fox and the former hobbit guy from Lost (Dominic Monaghan) show us an unhealthy relationships filled with sex, tender moments, fights, violence, and fire. 

And let’s not forget the highly publicized domestic violence incident between R&B singers Rihanna and Chris Brown. Rihanna (whose unhealthy relationship with Chris Brown was made public when he hit her) also sings the chorus and is shown throughout the video.

Abuse and domestic violence does not discriminate, as there are as many men who fall victim to domestic violence as women. Look at MTV’s Teen Mom reality star Amber Portwood who was arrested and charged with felony domestic battery and child neglect stemming from her behavior on the reality TV series. Portwood, 20, while in a tumultuous relationship with her on-and-off fiancé, punched him in the face. Gary Shirley, 24, is the father of Portwood’s daughter, Leah. He subsequently filed charges against her for assaulting Shirley in front of their child.

What is Dating and Domestic Violence?
Dating or domestic violence is not a disagreement; it represents a violation of trust.

Pre-battering violence:
Verbal abuse, hitting objects, throwing objects & making threats.

Beginning Levels:
Slapping, pinching, kicking, and pulling of hair.

Severe levels:
Choking, beating-with objects (sticks, ball bats, etc…), use of weapons, and sexual assault.

One in 3 women in battering relationships is sexually assaulted. While drinking and drug use do not cause battering, these elements can create a violent situation. When chemical dependency is involved, both the injuries and lethality of abuse may increase.

An estimated 1.3 million women/men are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. Some studies say the numbers are even greater – up to 5.3 million – since most assaults go unreported.

If you or someone you know is a victim or have been a victim to domestic violence, please tell someone, because help is available.

Call 911

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

1.800.799. SAFE
(7233) 1.800.787.3224

National Sexual Assault Hotline
1.800. 656-HOPE

By LaVonya Reeves