If domestic abuse was reported in the media as the horrendous crime that it is, maybe we wouldn't see as much of the idolising of perpetrators such as Chris Brown. In the court hearing we were told how he repeatedly punched, and bit Rihanna, slamming her head into the window of the car and holding her in her headlock until she nearly passed out. We have all seen the pictures of her swollen face afterwards and yet he still has a loyal base of supporters. So loyal in fact that a comedian who dared to stand up to him on twitter received numerous death threats for her tweets.... in their eyes this was apparently worse than physically harming your partner!! Chris Brown's retaliation tweets were among the worst tweets I have ever seen on twitter and I was thankful when he removed his account, yet some days later he is back on twitter presenting as a changed man who is supporting a domestic violence campaign. Is the general public's understanding of domestic abuse so off track that people will actually believe that after a few days this man has changed his whole entire belief system that made him feel entitled to beat his partner and write those atrocious tweets to another human being? Domestic abuse perpetrators seldom change and when they do it takes years and years of specialised Domestic abuse programmes.
So why aren't people boycotting his records and speaking out about abuse? People are very quick to judge Rihanna for going back to him and will happily tweet/talk about that, with no real understanding of the cycle of domestic abuse that keeps a victim under the power of the abuser and means that they will often return to them several times before getting help to fully end the relationship. Everything society does from the lenient sentencing of 6 months labour for this crime, to supporting his career undermines his crime...and yet people feel they are in a position to criticise and judge the actual victim when most do not see the severity of what he did themselves?
People who have been convicted of domestic abuse crimes are treated so differently from any other conviction, and this is shown by the shocking invitation to Justin Lee Collins to appear on Celebrity Big Brother. He has only just finished his ridiculously lenient sentence of 140 community service and yet Channel 5 think that putting him on our televisions to gloat about the fact that he basically got off lightly is something that we want to see? Again we all know what he did, we've all heard the tapes so why are we condoning domestic abuse by supporting his flagging career? A source from Channel 5 thinks that this will give him the opportunity for viewers to see if he has changed or not as they will be able to watch him 24/7 and apparently if he does not attack anyone then he must be a reformed man. If it was as easy as that and people were fully reformed after 140 hours trolley pushing ....there wouldn't be any crime in the world!! The whole notion of what domestic abuse actually is has been completely missed here....domestic abuse is against one person normally a partner, so no we are unlikely to see Justin verbally abuse, drag by the hair, interrogate or threaten to kill his friends or strangers he meets in the false environment of the Big Brother house. He is yet to admit that he was abusive, let alone enrolled in any domestic abuse perpetrator programmes, so I don't need to watch him on screen to decide whether he has changed...I already know the answer.
Do Channel 5 understand the impact that this will have on the actual victim of the crime? Anna Larke has been incredibly brave in speaking out on a subject where unfortunately there was a real chance of her not even being believed. She showed incredible courage and has gone on to give interviews to raise awareness and funds for domestic abuse campaigns. To offer her perpetrator £100k and another chance of fame is just another blow when this woman has suffered enough. It belittles the suffering of 1 in 4 women in the UK who are unfortunate to find themselves in a domestic abuse situation, these victims and survivors do not want to be faced with a perpetrator on their screens. This is a serious crime it causes endless damage to the victims and yet Channel 5 jump to help resurrect the career of someone convicted for harassment Some have commented on twitter that its just too soon for him to appear on our tele....I would argue that it is never right for society to promote an abuser. How are people meant to feel able to speak up about domestic abuse when we are parading abusers on television as if nothing happened?
We put Jimmy Saville on an untouchable pedestal ...lets not make the same mistake with domestic abuse perpetrators. Domestic abuse and violence is a crime resulting in emotional and physical damage and tragically 2 women dying in the UK per week - lets speak out, raise awareness and treat domestic abuse with the seriousness it deserves.