- (Photo: Reuters)
Reese Witherspoon is an actress that has spoken publicly about the prevalence of domestic violence and the way that some stars, including Rihanna, have handled it in the spotlight.
At the Second World Conference of Women's Shelters in Washington, D.C., she spoke rather candidly about using Rihanna and Chris Brown's story to educate her own children about domestic violence. "My daughter (Ava, 12) knows what happened. My son (Deacon, 8) knows as well. We talk about what is abuse."
"I think it's important to talk to our daughters - and our sons - in order to educate them about what's appropriate and what is absolutely not acceptable," she continued.
Witherspoon has taken on new responsibilities as the global ambassador for cosmetics company Avon, which is often a source of income for single, recovering women.
Witherspoon went on to say that while domestic violence "is somewhat foreign to them [her children], they're starting to understand that this happens to families in our country and all throughout the world. People need to understand this is happening in one-in-three households in America. We have to end the cycle because we're teaching children to be victims and abusers."
When it comes to Rihanna and Chris Brown, she told the audience, "Every case is different. There's obviously room for growth and change in lots of people's lives. I don't know either one of them, so I can't really comment about their lives. But it was one of those experiences that actually created a great opportunity to talk to your kids about domestic violence issues."
Indeed, after the abuse, Rihanna released a hit single and video "Love the Way You Lie." The video caused a great sensation and much outrage as it depicts a woman attempting to leave an abusive relationship and finally killing her abuser. "The danger is that pop culture defines our social norms," said Marjorie Gilberg, executive director at Break the Cycle.
"We don't want the message of this song to be that this kind of relationship is acceptable. So this song has to be viewed in the context of real information from adults, like parents and teachers."