Friday, September 22, 2006
‘Crack’ Can’t Be That ‘Wack’Story by Aaron Morrison
Substance abuse and domestic violence, in general, are certainly not laughing matters. But in the case of the recently divorced Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, it might be. The couple’s often public marital problems over the last several years may have you wondering whether Houston has finally realized that Brown is what’s ‘wack’, not so much the crack.
The Associated Press reported last Thursday that Houston filed divorce papers in an Orange County Superior Court. Houston requested a legal separation from Brown because of irreconcilable differences. But after numerous allegations that Brown was abusing her during their 14-year marriage, Houston’s filing for a divorce is not so surprising. Well, at least statistically.
Researchers at the Group Health Center for Health Studies are calling domestic violence an ‘epidemic.’ The report, published in the June 2006 issue of the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, reveals that in a sample of almost 3,500 women, 44 percent of them had experienced ‘intimate partner violence’ during adulthood. Their findings conclude that the longer domestic violence has taken place, the worse the woman’s physical and mental health is.
This could certainly explain Houston’s appearance and behavior while accepting a Lifetime Achievement honor during the 2001 BET Awards. After delivering a painfully mediocre rendition of her hits, she proclaimed Brown the ‘king of R&B’ music, despite the lack of career longevity to support that allegation. Let’s not forget her behavior on the 2005 Bravo reality series Being Bobby Brown, in which she co-starred with Brown. “Oh, hell to the no!”
Whether Houston’s public persona even a year ago was a result of years of marital abuse at the hands of the “R&B king” is unclear. Houston, however, is taking a step in the direction that many women who are in abusive relationships are unlikely to take.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has estimated that women who choose to leave an abusive relationship are at a 75 percent greater risk of being killed by the ‘offender’ than those who choose to stay. This, they say, explains why so many women remain in abusive relationships.
In addition, researchers with the Group Health Center also found that rates of domestic violence were much higher in surveyed participants whom were old, had higher incomes, and were typically more educated. Previous studies estimated domestic violence rates as high in ‘younger, lower income groups.’
Whether Brown beat her senseless or beat sense into her, it’s clear that Houston has decided that her own well-being and the well-being of their daughter Bobbi-Kristina, who Houston has requested full custody of, is more important than having ‘the greatest love of all.’
Let’s hope Houston doesn’t plan on ‘running back’ to Brown. Unless, of course, there are plans to tape another season of Being Bobby Brown.