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The Chrianna Crisis:Let’s Take A Deeper Look February 26, 2009

Posted by Bobbett Plummer in Blogging, Mental Health, Prevention.

Everyone who watches the news or listens to the radio has heard about Chris Brown and Rihanna (aka Chrianna).  On Sunday, February 7th, 2009, following Clive Davis’ Grammy Party, the pop-superstars got into a physical altercation.  Chris will be 20 years old in May and Rihanna recently turned 21 on February 20th.  Their story has remained at the forefront of news and gossip columns.  Yet, the media has failed to highlight the occurrence of teen and tween domestic violence.  Tween is a relatively new term that describes adolescents between the ages of 11-14. Chris and Rihanna are not that much older than the teens and tweens who adore them.

Every morning I listen to 93.9 WKYS-Russ Parr Morning Show. One week in particular was dedicated to highlighting “Teen Dating Violence”.  February 2-6, 2009 was declared “National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week,” approved by unanimous consent by the Senate, on December 10, 2008. For this week, parents who were affected by teen dating violence had the chance to tell their story in an effort to prevent the same thing from happening to other parents.  The stories told brought tears to my eyes as I listen about 12-16 year olds who were murdered by their adolescent boyfriends or girlfriends.

I guess my main question is, why hasn’t other mainstream media outlets explored the terrible impacts of teen dating violence?  I’ve seen a few shows like ET and Extra cover the Chrianna story but no mention of teen dating violence.  People magazine merely mentions violence against women with a quote from Rosario Dawson.  This is a problem that just doesn’t get enough coverage.  Countless children are affected by teen dating violence on a daily basis.  A Tween and Teen Dating Violence and Abuse Study was conducted by Liz Claiborne, Inc and loveisrespect.org.  The objective of the study was to explore tween dating and relationship abuse.  In Linda Lowen’s article Facts on Tween Dating Abuse & Violence – Statistics on Tweens & Dating Violence she discusses very disturbing the findings from the study:

Tweens who have been in a relationship report peer pressure and emotional and physical abuse.
•    62% know friends and peers who’ve been verbally abused by a boyfriend/girlfriend.
•    36% know friends and peers who’ve been pressured by their relationship partner to do something they didn’t want to do.
•    20% of 13 and 14-year olds in relationships know friends and peers who’ve been physically abused (kicked, hit, slapped or punched) by a boyfriend/girlfriend.

This illustrates a true problem that needs to be addressed.  There should be more media coverage to help prevent our teens and tweens from becoming a statistic.   How about they stop talking about Chris Brown and Rihanna and focus on the real problem at hand?



1. Samantha - February 26, 2009

great read! FYI on MTV’s Chris Brown and Rihanna:Love in trouble they addressed the issue of teen dating violence…i think this is an issue that definately needs to be brought to the forefront and I am going to include it in our March Clinic newsletter!

2. Jennifer Putney - February 27, 2009

This was wonderfully enlightening. I didn’t even know that this was a problem that existed. The sad part about it is that things like this don’t come to light until something terrible happens. We live in a society that is only responsive in the event of crisis. Hopefully, we’ll start to watch or young community a littlemore closely and be able to recognize other problems before they arise.

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