Break The Cycle

Whenever I’m tutoring the teen moms I work with, I never quite know what to expect. Beyond working on math, science or history, we always tend to get a little sidetracked about one thing or another. Sometimes we talk about clubs or my age. Other times they school me in new music or shows I should be watching.

And sometimes? It can get a little heavy.

The other week one of the girls was going on and on about how she saw this picture of Chris Brown naked. A few other girls started getting all excited, before I reminded them that we weren’t about to go googling for Chris Brown’s googly bits. But before we moved on, returning back to our math problems, I couldn’t help but ask…Why?

What’s the fascination with Chris Brown?

Now, I don’t read my celebrity gossip like I used to, but I’m well aware of the Chris Brown/Rihanna assault story from a few years back.  I don’t profess to know every single detail, but I know the general gist of it all. So, I asked them – could they really be into a guy that beat on his girlfriend?

The range of answers were a little frightening. Some were quick to overlook it, others pointed out that we didn’t know what really happened, while others shrugged and admitted it was bad. However, my stomach twisted at the following response, “Well, if you’re going to get beat up anyway, like so many girls do in our area, it might as well be by somebody hot, rich and famous.”

That thought got a lot of heads nodding in agreement while I sat there, speechless. My mind whirred with what to say, but I couldn’t even begin to figure out where to start. I had never experienced domestic abuse first hand. Sure, I had read all about it, studied statistics and read research, but I had a feeling they wouldn’t really respond to any of that.

Thankfully, another girl spoke up. She talked about her ex and reminded the girls how that (abusive) relationship went down. We started talking about the cycle of domestic violence, and how even if it looks like somebody is “ok” with it, that’s probably not the full reality.

Everyone seemed to have a story…recalling something that happened to them, or a loved one.

We talked a lot that morning. The math was put aside for a few moments for questions and answers not found on the GED.

I’m sure our talk didn’t dissuade the girls from later going off to google Chris Brown’s naked bits, but I have to hope that maybe, just maybe, it makes them think just a little bit more the next time they hear about a friend or family member caught up in the cycle of domestic violence.

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