Counselors educate about turbulent teen relationships

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Updated: 10/04/2012 10:19 pm Published: 10/04/2012 10:13 pm

The talk of Rihanna and Chris Brown reuniting has been all over the web and social media.

Some people are worrying that, given the couple's violent history, this isn’t sending the right message to young fans.

However, counselors with Domestic Violence Intervention Services hope it can start a discussion with young people about having healthier relationships.

"Kids can relate to them. They look up to them,” said DVIS Prevention Education Coordinator Angela Brown. “They view them as role models. They listen to their music."

Brown uses Chris Brown’s 2009 assault on Rihanna to show teenagers what isn’t a healthy relationship.
Studies show there is physical or sexual abuse in one in three high school relationships.
The counselor says those negative relationships can lead to alcohol and drug abuse.

"Teens grow up in that environment so they re-enact that as adults," Brown said.

Brown, a victim of teen domestic violence, wants teens to know what healthy relationships should look like and realizing abuse isn't apart of it.

“Celebrities are celebrities so I don't want teens looking at celebrities and assuming they're having a healthy relationship," Brown told FOX23.

"For her to go back into that situation, she's putting herself in a situation where she has to trust that he's been changed," Tim McCarthy, a father of four, said about Rihanna.

McCarthy has two girls and doesn't agree with Rihanna's decision to get involved with Chris Brown again, but says he's got to set the bar at home for his own kids.

"I want to show a loving relationship with my wife," said McCarthy.

McCarthy says he shows that love by taking his wife on dates and doing the little things around the house to show he appreciates her. McCarthy says the parents have to show their children how to have relationships. He adds that includes allowing them to see how he and his wife handle conflict.
His daughter, Madison, needs that because she doesn't have to look any farther than home.

"I don't see them as role models because they're entertainment,” Madison said of Rihanna and Chris Brown.

But for those who idolize celebrity life, Brown says you don't always get the full picture.

"We only see snippet of their lives,” Brown said. “We only see what they allow us to see."

Brown teaches the healthy relationship class daily in Tulsa and Creek County.
If you'd like to speak with her about how to create that dialogue between with your teens you can reach her at (918) 585-3163.

Chris Brown remains on probation from the assault on Rihanna in 2009.

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