Nowadays relationships are not ending with “And they lived happily ever after” like in Cinderella or Snow White. In fact, dating violence has increased 40 percent since 1999, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Dating violence includes verbal and physical abuse and tends to impact those between 12 and 21 years old. While males suffer from dating violence too, females are the main victims.
Harvard University psychologist William S. Pollack found that when “adolescent boys get involved with girls, they fall into the societal model which we call ‘macho' where they need to show they are the ones in control.” Young women tend to blame themselves for boyfriends' actions, which also contributes to the male feeling in control.
The idea of men being in control has to come from somewhere, though. It all goes back to the traditional role of men being “macho.” Though there is more gender equality than ever in education and the workforce, the media continues to portray men as aggressive and women as passive.
When Chris Brown beat up Rihanna, it shocked both fans and the nation. No one expected dating violence to affect this famous couple. Some believed Rihanna started the fight and gave Brown reason to hit her, but there is a big difference between a verbal argument and throwing a punch. The Boston Public Health Commission found that 46 percent believed Rihanna was to blame, while 51 percent felt it was Brown's fault and he had no excuse for hitting her, but 44 percent claimed that fighting is a normal part of a relationship. Where has our society gone so wrong that our generation thinks physical fighting is normal? Violence is not normal or okay.
Some studies show that boys exposed to domestic violence as children are twice as likely to be violent in their relationships. Chris Brown admitted to witnessing his stepfather abuse his mother which is why it is so important for this cycle of violence to be broken.