The XX Factor

Rihanna to Rolling Stone: If Chris Brown Screws Up, I’ll Walk

“When you add up the pieces from the outside, it’s not the cutest puzzle in the world,” Rihanna told RS, stating the obvious.

Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Rolling Stone’s got Rihanna on the cover of its next issue, and is teasing it with a genuine get: the singer’s most candid reflections yet on her decision to reunite with Chris Brown, who plead guilty to assaulting her nearly four years ago.

Psychoanalyzing Rihanna’s choices has become a blogger cottage industry—and also exhausting and counterproductive. But one excerpt from the interview reminded me of how Rihanna is not necessarily representative of domestic violence victims:

And Rihanna says that if Brown were ever to display a hint of his past behavior towards her, she is ready to walk. “He doesn’t have the luxury of fucking up again,” she says. “That’s just not an option. I can’t say that nothing else will ever go wrong. But I’m pretty solid in the knowing that he’s disgusted by that. And I wouldn’t have gone this far if I ever thought that was a possibility.”

Rihanna, of course, can walk if she wants to. She’s independently wealthy, so can easily and immediately find a new place to live—if she doesn’t have a second or third home already. She has people working for her who can get her a new phone or hire more security. Because Brown’s assault on Rihanna was so public, and because the Los Angeles Police Department found itself in hot water when photos of Rihanna after the beating were leaked, it’s hard to imagine that any requests she might make for a restraining orders or protection wouldn’t be fast-tracked.

This isn’t to say that, as the past and possible future victim of abuse, Rihanna is lucky. Just that we should be doing more to ensure that women who are trying to leave dangerous relationships can do so with at least a fraction of the logistical ease Rihanna will have. The emotional ease, or lack thereof, is another story.