Rihanna has remained all but silent in the nine months since she was assaulted — a stark contrast to the fumbling interviews and stiff apologies we’ve heard from her attacker, ex Chris Brown. Not anymore. Whether because she has an album on the way or just because she’s ready to talk now, Rihanna has booked several high-profile interviews this week, including a sit-down with ABC’s Diane Sawyer that will air this Thursday and Friday on Good Morning America and 20/20, and a lengthy Q&A with Glamour.
Transcripts of the Diane Sawyer interview haven’t been released yet, aside from one key quotation about her assault: “This happened to me…it could happen to anyone.” Her Glamour remarks give more of an idea of how she’s handling that sensitive subject. “Domestic violence is a big secret,” the singer says. “No kid goes around and lets people know their parents fight. Teenage girls can’t tell their parents that their boyfriend beat them up. You don’t dare let your neighbor know that you fight. It’s one of the things we [women] will hide, because it’s embarrassing. My story was broadcast all over the world for people to see, and they have followed every step of my recovery. The positive thing that has come out of my situation is that people can learn from that.”
Some commentators don’t think these words go far enough in condemning domestic violence. But I think Rihanna is doing the right thing by speaking out on this issue at all. This is the personal trauma of a 21-year-old that we’re talking about. After the downright nasty victim-blaming she’s endured from certain quarters since February, I wouldn’t have been surprised if she’d chosen to stay quiet for longer. She was the victim of a crime — that doesn’t make it her responsibility to be a public advocate. Given how many young female fans look up to her, though, I’m glad that she’s taken on that role in a way that she feels comfortable doing.
How about you? What do you think of Rihanna’s Glamour interview? What do you hope she’ll tell Diane Sawyer?
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Photo credit: Ida Mae Astute/ABC