The victims' rights advocate has some harsh words for Chris Brown, who allegedly assaulted girlfriend Rihanna over the weekend.
Judge Jeanine Pirro, a tireless advocate of women's rights, created one of the first Domestic Violence Units in the nation. As District Attorney, she chaired the New York State Commission on Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board. Its findings resulted in legislation being passed that increased protections and safeguards for domestic violence victims and their families.
Judge Pirro also presides daily over her courtroom on the popular show "Judge Jeanine Pirro." With her direct, no-nonsense attitude and compassionate approach, Judge Pirro rules on a variety of cases, from small claims to emotionally charged disputes between couples in crisis, deadbeat dads and out-of-control teens.
That's why we were particularly interested to hear Judge Jeanine Pirro's thoughts on the Chris Brown situation.
Here's what she had to say:
This case is yet another example of how domestic violence crosses all socio-economic and ethnic lines. This incident was surprising to some people, but to me it was just another domestic violence case ... only this time with a celebrity. Hopefully Rihanna will stand up not only for herself but for all the other women who are being abused and beaten.
No further investigation necessary
I'm reading the reports, and I think it's rather unusual that the DA has asked the police for further investigation of Chris Brown. By law, you have 30 days to investigate after a person posts bail. But Rihanna clearly had visible injuries, and she is cooperating with police. They don't need any more than that. It's a very simple domestic violence assault. In a statement, she alleged he threatened to kill her and he choked her. She was in the hospital from Sunday to Monday night -- that's not just a visit, that's a hospital stay. Based on 30 years experience in this field, I would say this is more than enough for prosecutors. As far as I'm concerned, there's a serious injury here ... what else do you need? Domestic violence cases like this have to be handled seriously and quickly.
All about control
Domestic violence is all about control. People who were raised with domestic violence learn growing up that violence is the way to solve conflicts. He took out his anger on Rihanna, and he beat her. Generally, almost always, the violence increases in intensity and severity as time goes on. If you've overlooked a slap or a shove before, it will likely happen again and will be even worse the next time. It sounds like Rihanna got a real beating. And she is so delicate ... shame on him.
The public fallout
The biggest problem for Chris Brown, even more than law enforcement, is going to be with Jay-Z and others ostracizing him within the music industry. He's already lost some of his endorsements, like Got Milk? and Wrigley's.
Will Rihanna take Chris Brown back?
Many times, the victim will give the victim another chance. Hope springs eternal for victims of domestic violence that the last beating will indeed be the last beating. But it's even worse the next time. It is time to make Chris Brown accountable. Even if she gets back together with him, she couldn't have the charges dropped. It's the State of California pressing charges on him now ... at this point, she's a witness. As a DA, the first thing I would do would be to get a medical release from the victim. That way, I could go forward with the charges, even if the victim had a change of heart.
Shame on Rihanna's publicist
I found Rihanna's publicist's initial statement -- "Rihanna is well. Thank you for your support." -- particularly disturbing. You can't sweep this under the rug. Shame on her publicist for trying to do that.
Domestic abuse in the spotlight
Rihanna is a delicate young woman who is talented. That doesn't mean she deserves this abuse any less than any other woman, but her fame will help put the spotlight on domestic violence as a whole. Publicizing these cases is especially important. It helps spread the belief among women that domestic abuse is absolutely not okay, under any circumstances. Young women in abusive situations can say, 'It's not me. This is about men trying to control women and taking their anger out on women.' The average woman might now say, 'Gee, it's not my fault ... it's a problem with the man.' And that's a very good thing.
|Judge Jeanine Pirro is an attorney, prosecutor and politician who served as a county judge before serving as the elected district attorney of Westchester County in New York for 12 years. Judge Jeanine lives in Rye, New York, and is the mother of two college-age children.|