March 19th, 2009 09:07 EST
Lights. Camera. Action! Domestic Beat Down
Recent reports of alleged abuse between Chris Brown and Rihanna has caused Hollywood and the world in an uproar. This caused BlackNews.com to ask this question: "Has The Media Made Domestic Violence Entertainment?"
Stories of domestic violence in Hollywood include Ike & Tina Turner, and most recently the arrest of Bebe Winans. Brenda L. Thomas knows more than a thing or two about domestic violence. Thomas, a best-selling author for Essence magazine, is also a domestic violence survivor after ending a volatile, 15-year marriage. This led to the writing of her book, Laying Down My Burdens -- despite being threatened by her husband. She is also touring the country and putting the word out of L.O.U.D (Living Out Your Dreams), with the purpose of no matter how hard life gets, never give up.
"It`s important that individuals in the public eye make it their priority to see domestic violence awareness become as much as a part of public affairs as breast cancer and other ills and not just mere entertainment" Thomas said to BlackNews.com.
Though shown in films such as The Burning Bed and Enough and gospel plays such as "Love Lifted Me" (yours truly played James the janitor/guardian angel), domestic violence exists and it is an issue that needs to be taken seriously. According to reports from the U.S. Justice Department, 1 to 3 million women are physically abused by their husbands or boyfriends each year.
Why do women stay in abusive relationships? Probably for several reasons, such as the romantic concept that love will conquer all -- the love of a good woman could save the "bad boy" from his inner demons and turn him into a "good guy". Another is that it is the woman`s fault, and that she got what she deserved because she made him mad; she has nowhere to go, and if she leaves, he`ll find her and kill her. There was a line from one of the female characters of "Love Lifted Me", the play that I did, in which she said: if a man hits a woman, then the woman can either leave or hit him back.
There`s always a choice -- especially where domestic violence is concerned. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, get involved. Join a support group with others that are in the same situation also; find accountability within family, friends, church, and community. Regain your confidence and self-respect; take your life back ... before it`s too late.
You can contact Ms. Thomas through her publicist Kelisha L. Rawlinson at (215) 331-4554 or email her firstname.lastname@example.org.