Rihanna is back in her native Barbados, and she posted photos on Instagram Monday of herself in a stunning outfit for the 2017 Crop Over festival. Plenty of people noticed, including her ex Chris Brown, who posted a pair of emoji eyes in the comments section.Fans are not okay with Chris’ move and with good reason: He assaulted Rihanna on the night before the Grammys back in 2009 and later pleaded guilty to the crime. The couple got back together briefly but broke up for good in 2013, with Rihanna telling Vanity Fair that “I was very protective of him. I felt that people didn’t understand him. Even after…”
Chris has also been accused of domestic violence by his former girlfriend, Karrueche Tran, who obtained a restraining order against him in April, per the New York Daily News. He was also accused of “sucker-punching” a photographer at a Tampa nightclub that month.
Rihanna hasn’t reacted to Chris’ comment, so it’s hard to know how she feels about his presence on her page. But Cameka L. Crawford, chief communications officer for the National Domestic Violence Hotline and Love Is Respect says that Chris’ behavior can be a problem because this kind of behavior furthers domestic abuse.
“Most people tend to think that domestic violence is hitting but it’s more than that,” she says. “It’s a pattern of behaviors that one person uses to gain and maintain power and control over their partner,” (or former partner, in this case). Even if a couple is no longer together, social media posts from a domestic abuser can be a form of bullying, stalking, or harassing, Crawford says. “Oftentimes when people are using social media that way, it is another form of verbal or social abuse online—it’s complex,” she says.
If you’ve been the victim of domestic violence and your abuser is showing up on your social media pages, Crawford recommends taking screenshots of what they say and do. That way, if you decide to take legal action, you have evidence. Also, know this: You have the right to block and report them. “Once you block and report them to social media sites, they won’t have the right to contact you anymore.”