That's Rihanna's firm advice to women of any age facing domestic violence.
The first of the pop star's televised interviews with Diane Sawyer aired this morning on Good Morning America. The 21-year-old sat poised and beautiful as she explained how she went back to Chris Brown after he beat her last February, how she managed to break free from him and how she feels about it now.
Rihanna declares she's "strong" but is ashamed at how the whole relationship went down.
"I fell in love with that person—that's embarrassing," she says. "That's embarrassing that that's the type of person that I fell in love with, so far in love, so unconditional [that] I went back."
Sawyer noted that, on average, woman will take a beating seven times before leaving. The 21-year-old's response was chilling.
"Eight or nine actually," she corrected. "And I don't want that to happen...It's completely normal to go back. You start lying to yourself. The minute the physical wounds go away, you want this thing to go away. This is a memory you don't want to have ever again."
It took her teenage fans to get her to walk away from the abusive situation.
"When I realized that my selfish decision for love could result into some young girl getting killed, I could not be easy with that part," she explains. "Even if Chris never hit me again, who's to say that their boyfriend won't? Who's to say that they won't kill these girls? These are young girls. I just didn't realize how much of an impact I had on these girls' lives until that happened."
"It was a wake-up call for me big time," she adds. "I'll say that to any young girl who's going through domestic violence. Don't react off of love. Ef love. Come out of the situation and look at it [in the] third person and for what it really is and then make your decision. Because love is so blind."
According to Sawyer, tomorrow morning's segment will detail what happened in the car that fateful February night. The full interview will air on 20/20 on Friday evening, at nearly the same time Brown sits down for a chat with MTV on similar subjects.
Ironically, he seems somewhat less apologetic to the fans he let down.
"I'm confused right now as far as the public perception [of me]," he says in a preview of the special. "Like, I think with my fans, they still love me, they support me, definitely...I got the people that will come out and support and then the people that don't wanna see me do anything. They basically want me in jail."
(Originally published Nov. 5, 2009, at 5:16 a.m. PT)
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