Rihanna | Stree Shakti

She is a superstar, an icon young girls look upto, mega successful, beautiful, talented and with everything a girl could ever aspire to. And she was the victim of violence. Her then boyfriend, Chris Brown assaulted her so terribly on the eve of the Grammy’s when they apparently had a spat over a text Brown received from another woman which led to him assaulting her, choking her so terribly that she passed out and was found by the police in that condition after a resident called up the authorities to report the fight. 911 arrived on the scene and took the horrific photographs which documented the extent of the abuse. The injuries, — major contusions on both sides of the singer’s face, a black eye, a split lip, bloody nose and bite marks on one of her arms and on several fingers [via TMZ.com]. She was taken to hospital for her injuries and Brown turned himself in to LAPD and was released on bail.

The fight led to the cancellation of both their Grammy performances.

Brown, who had grown up in a situation of domestic violence had seen his stepfather abuse his mother and had even gone on record in an interview to say that the abuse made him hate anyone who disrespected a woman by violence.

But what emerged in the tabloids later post this very public incident were reports of how this may not have been the first or the only time that Brown had abused Rihanna.

What led her to come out with her story of violence and being a victim was the realization that she had the reach, as a youth icon, to influence other women victims of intimate partner abuse to return to their abusers. And that decision could lead to some young girl or a woman getting horrifically abused or even killed. As she told Diane Sawyer on the show Good Morning America, “”When I realized that my selfish decision for love could result in some young girl getting killed, I could not be easy with that part,” the singer said. “I could not be held responsible for telling them, ‘Go back.’ If Chris never hit me again, who’s to say that their boyfriends won’t kill these girls . . . I just didn’t realize how much of an impact I had on these girls’ lives until that happened. It was a wake-up call for me, big-time.”

Rihanna took her life back in her hands, separated from Brown. She worked through her angst with songs about her experience. She did, to some extent, morph into the poster girl for domestic violence. But her ability to stand up and take charge of her life again did become an inspiration for many women in similar situations.

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