I know this is old-ish news, but Chris Brown reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and received five years probation and 1,400 hours of labor-oriented service. I’ve read some commentators voicing their concern that the punishment isn’t harsh enough, since Brown isn’t actually serving any jail time. I’m of two minds on that one: On the one hand, it is striking that a man who severely beat up a woman didn’t actually have to serve jail time; on the other, we too often use jail as a default punishment, and see anything else — no matter how helpful — as too soft.
More striking to me, though, is the fact that Rihanna was prepared to testify. So much of the commentary immediately following Brown’s arrest revolved around the meme that Rihanna was partly to blame, or that by not leaving him she set a bad example; but now that she took the incredibly brave step of agreeing to testify in court, there’s a whole lot of silence and not much support.
I’m glad Brown pleaded guilty. I’m glad Rihanna left him, and that she felt strong enough to be available to testify. I hope she is able to move on, and that he takes this seriously and commits to the life-long self-work of being non-violent.
- More Chris & Rihanna: This Time, With Extra Victim-Blaming by Jill March 14, 2009
- Honoring Abusers at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards by Jill March 11, 2009
- A Request: by Jill February 10, 2009
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- Dear Judith Regan, by Jill November 20, 2006