FOR THE WEEK OF FEB. 23, 2009
Chris Brown-Rihanna fight shines light on dating dangers
Newspapers include practical pointers and advice about everyday life. See if you can find a features section column or forum with tips on socializing, dating or another topic of interest.
Media exposure influences who gains fame or notoriety (unfavorable attention). Look through recent issues for examples of positive - and perhaps not-so-positive - role models from your community, state or beyond.
Does the paper routinely present celebrity tidbits, such as in a daily column with photos and short items on music, TV and movie stars? Discuss the value and any possible drawbacks of this type of roundup.
Tabloid-style celebrity news has an upside sometimes, though not necessarily for pop culture figures involved. Stars Gone Wild headlines raise awareness of risky situations that affect regular folks as well as VIPs. They open discussions about topics such as unsafe diets, impaired driving, drug use and - currently - relationship violence.
R&B recording artist Chris Brown faces possible felony charges for allegedly hurting singer Rihanna, his 20-year-old girlfriend, this month. The case creates a national teach-in about relationship abuse and dating dangers.
"Thank God people aren't making excuses for his behavior," says Juan Williams, a journalist and author in Washington, D.C. "Being abusive to a woman will not to be tolerated."
Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Fenty, reportedly suffered a bloody nose, cut lip, bruises and bites during an argument with the 19-year-old. "She's going through a tough time," says rap mogul Jay-Z, who discovered and mentored Rihanna. "She's very young."
Teachers, counselors, authors and other specialists say it's important to spot early warning signs of an abusive relationship, such as manipulation, extreme possessiveness and insistence on knowing or controlling what a person does or who she or he is with. Boys also can be victims of emotional or physical abuse, experts stress.
Speaking up is critical to getting help, but that can be easier said than done. Victims may feel ashamed, embarrassed, fearful or even at fault. In addition to parents or school personnel, resources include a toll-free National Teen Dating Violence Helpline at (866) 331-9474 or LoveIsRespect.org.
Educator says: "This is what young boys and young girls go through daily. Young men are raised to believe that a woman is property, and you have the right to check her and do whatever you want." - Carl Taylor, Michigan State University sociologist
Parent says: "He was in a good position to serve so many young black children well. Whenever anybody who is in a good position to have a nice impact on my children, and children in general, tumbles and falls in such an important way, it's here we go again." - Monique Wright-Williams, Syracuse, N.Y.
Women's leader says: "Domestic violence and dating violence happen every day, even among young teens, and the impact is both far-reaching and under-reported." - Kim Gandy, National Organization for Women (NOW) president
Front Page Talking Points
is written by
Felix Grabowski and Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2013
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