The Los Angeles Times and other media outlets violated Rihanna’s privacy by publicizing her identity as a domestic-violence victim, Smita Satiani writes for the Huffington Post. Public desire for details, the need to know if Rihanna herself somehow brought it on, “stems from the ultimate denial that these horrendous crimes are real—and even worse, that they can happen to anyone.”
Rather than “investigating a victim’s actions prior to their assault,” Satiani urges education for men and women. “Societal shame, the media blame, a lack of access to resources, a perceived absence of efficacy in our criminal-justice system” all make it hard to report domestic violence, Satiani writes, and those barriers must fall. But ultimately, each victim should decide for herself whether to come forward.