Rihanna Donates $2.1M To Domestic Violence Victims After Growing Up & later Experiencing Abuse Herself
Singer Rihanna has always spoken out about her own experiences with domestic violence and how she got herself out of those situations. Her charity The Clara Lionel Foundation teamed up with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to co-fund a $4.2 million grant to help victims of domestic violence. News of the grant comes after 90 people are said to have been turned away from domestic violence shelters in Los Angeles, California. With California’s stay-at-home order in place, the issue of domestic violence is greater now more than ever during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Clara Lionel Foundation put out a tweet announcing this joint donation. It said: “We’re joining forces with Twitter/Square CEO @Jack today by co-funding $4.2 million grant to the @MayorsFundLA to address the current crisis for domestic violence victims in Los Angeles as a result of the COVID-19 Safer at Home Order. #startsmall#CLF.”
Rihanna Grew Up Around Domestic Violence
Rihanna has had her own experiences with domestic violence which likely prompted her to have a soft spot for the cause. She grew up in a home where she saw domestic violence occur firsthand. When speaking to MTV, Rihanna said she saw her father hit her mother numerous times in the past. She often had to try and break up their fights and one of them even resulted in her mother having a broken nose. “Domestic violence is not something that people want anybody to know, so she would just hide it in the house,” Rihanna said about her mother. This prompted her to say she never wanted to date a man like her father.
She Then Experienced Abuse Firsthand
Rihanna began dating singer Chris Brown in 2007. The pair seemed to be happy and in love. But on the night before the 2009 Grammy’s everything changed. The pair got into an argument in Brown’s car after he received a text from an ex-girlfriend. After he lied about the text message, the pair continued to argue. Brown repeatedly punched, bit and choked her to the point where she had trouble breathing. He also threatened to kill her. Her screams prompted someone to call the police. Brown was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats hours later and pleaded guilty to assault. He was put on probation for five years.
A startling image of Rihanna’s swollen and bloody face surfaced the internet after the assault took place. Now she is an advocate and a survivor and encourages people to pull themselves out of toxic situations. “The thing that men don’t realize when they hit a woman, it’s… the face, the broken arm, the black eye, it’s going to heal. That’s not … the problem. It’s the scar inside,” she told NBC. She said the experience helped her “grow up and learn” to get out of relationships and situations with abusive people. And now her donation can help other people do the same.
Both Rihanna And Jack Dempsey Have Been Doing All They Can For COVID-19 Relief
This is not the first donation that the singer has made in the wake of the pandemic. Her charity also donated $5 million in grants to global health organizations. This is to provide them with medical equipment, supplies and food during this pandemic. Vulnerable regions that do not have access to such resources in a time where they need it the most desperately needed this help. This donation will provide quicker and more accessible testing methods for countries like Haiti and Malawi. Organizations like Feeding America, The World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the International Rescue Committee all received a sum of this money.
Rihanna’s makeup line Fenty Beauty is also donating 100 percent of proceeds from the purchase of a makeup organizer to the emergency response.
Jack Dorsey donated $1 billion to coronavirus relief efforts through his philanthropic fund. He announced that after the pandemic is over the focus of this fund will be girl’s health and education.
Domestic Violence Cases Have Spiked Amid Pandemic
Before the pandemic, 20 people in the United States experienced physical domestic violence every minute according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Research from the US National Library of Medicine shows 1 in 4 adult American women and 1 in 7 adult American men have experienced some type of severe violence. That number is only being heightened by lockdowns and stay-at-home orders that are forcing people into isolation with their abusers.
In Seattle, the police saw a 21% increase in domestic violence reports in March. It was one of the first U.S. cities to have an influx of coronavirus cases. State officials are finding new ways to file orders of protection for domestic violence victims. An online form is now available for Seattle residents since many courts have been halted due to coronavirus. Other states are looking into providing the same form for victims.
And in Texas, during March there was a 35% increase in domestic violence cases. This is no doubt due to restrictions brought on by coronavirus. It is harder to find alternative shelter during a pandemic. This problem of increased cases of domestic violence is not just central to Los Angeles.
Rihanna and Dempsey’s contribution to the Mayor’s Fund is expected to provide housing and food for 90 domestic violence victims per week. In addition, 90 more victims will be welcomed into shelters every week thereafter for 10 weeks. Hopefully, other states can find some sort of relief for domestic violence victims who are still forced to isolate themselves with their abusers.