By Anjali Vijay Kumar Barjatya.
Domestic violence is a peril that haunts not only the women of third world countries, but rather is a persisting evil that has millions, perhaps even billions, of women clutched in its despicable grasp. Every twenty seconds a woman suffers from domestic violence. Every twenty seconds, a woman becomes a victim in her own home at the hands of the very person who promised to love, cherish and protect her. Unfortunately this plight is still common in our patriarchal global society where women, irrespective of their social or economic status, have suffered domestic violence in one form or another. But many of these women have raised themselves above their past and even helped other victims of domestic abuse to take back control of their lives.
Oprah Winfrey, a legend in every sense, a woman respected by all decent elements of the society, a self-made billionaire, was a victim of violence and domestic abuse. While many people know about her rags to riches story, not everyone is aware of the grim details. She was forced to confront the horrors of domestic violence and sexual abuse at a very young age. She ran away from home when she was 13 and at the age of 14, she gave birth to a baby boy who died shortly afterwards. Oprah Winfrey has been very open about sharing her experience of her past. Through her famous talk show, she has raised extensive awareness about domestic violence.
Rihanna is cited often when talk of domestic violence commences. In 2009, the world was shocked to witness a battered Rihanna at the hands of her then boyfriend Chris Brown. It was a slap in the face for many people to realise that celebrity status didn’t save one from the brutality of domestic abuse. Even while growing up in Barbados, Rihanna was surrounded by domestic violence as her father frequently used to beat her mother. Despite promising herself that she would never be in a relationship with a man like her father, Rihanna found herself in love and in a relationship with Chris Brown, who also grew up surrounded by domestic violence. She got back with him a month later but ended things when she realized that her acceptance of Chris Brown’s violent conduct will have negative impact on many girls facing similar situations. She faced a setback but she has come out stronger for it.
Madonna, one of the most famous singers in the world, was once in a poisonous relationship with Sean Penn, an Academy award winning actor. His treatment of Madonna is public knowledge and has been much sensationalized by media. He beat her with a baseball bat, threatened to shave off her head, tied her to a chair for nine hours, constantly abused her physically and mentally.
Halle Berry, Christine Aguilera, Charlize Theron, Mariah Carey… It is a sad fact that the list of famous women who have been victims of domestic violence is a long one, and even longer is the list of unknown women.