Rapper 50 Cent has been charged with domestic violence after an altercation with the mother of his child.

According to reports, the incident occurred on June 23, the rapper, whose legal name is Curtis Brown, and his ex-girlfriend engaged in an argument that escalated into physical violence. The girlfriend allegedly hid in a closet to escape Brown’s rage.  The rapper allegedly kicked in the door, injuring the victim and causing over $7,100 in damage.

Brown is scheduled for an arraignment on July 22, when he will face one count of domestic violence, four counts of violence, and vandalism charges. Scott Lemon, the rapper’s attorney, has stated that Brown vehemently denies the charges have been brought against him. The attorney also challenged the legitimacy of the charges, since Brown has not been taken to jail and there is no warrant for his arrest.

In addition to refusing to accept any responsibility for his alleged actions, Brown defiantly Tweeted about the fact that he is not in jail. On July 5, Brown bragged on Twitter about all the places he had been, instead of sitting in jail”, including:  his strip club, his pool, his elaborate home theatre, and sitting on his Gucci couch. He also defiantly boasted of what he would bring to jail with him, including his “fish”.

I can not help but wonder of I am the only person who is offended and outraged by Brown’s defiant behavior. It disturbs me for many reasons. First, he appears to be treating violence against women like a big joke.

Those of us who have worked with victims know that domestic violence is NO laughing matter. Domestic violence is an epidemic in the United States, and most cases are perpetrated against women. As a crime scene tech, I documented the horrific injuries.  I processed the crime scenes that resulted from some vicious attacks.

Having witnessed the reults of such attacks, it is no wonder that the victims retract their statements in court. They know that the next assault will be even more viscious; or worse, that their children or loved ones will be the next targets of an abuser’s wrath. Fortunately, in Florida, the State Attorney can prosecute the case even if the victim chooses to drop the charges.

Second, Brown is an influential figure. Violence against women IS prevalent among the rich and famous. Remember Aaron Hernandez? Actors, musicians, and sports figures are role models for young people, who try to emulate them. As a juvenile probation officer, I handled numerous cases in which young men assaulted women, including their own mothers, grandmothers, sisters, classmates, and authority figures such as teachers and police officers.

Once again, the female relatives would often retract their statements in court, because they did not want to see the probationers incur more criminal charges. The seriousness of violence against women seems to be minimized when people like Brown make a joke of the criminal justice system, Personally, I believe that there should be a sign above his head that says, “This is NOT acceptable behavior!”

So, how would I like to see this case resolved? I understand that Brown has not yet been convicted of the charges.   He should take this situation more seriously and accept responsibility for his behavior.   He needs to issue a sincere apology to ALL women for his disparaging remarks and for his bad behavior.

He should have to do some community service so that he can see the results of violence against women. I would like to see him donate some of his millions to a domestic violence shelter that offers counseling, clothing, and shelter to victims. He should be required to attend anger management classes and that he should attend a Victim Imact panel.

Finally, I would like to see famous people channel their money, power, and influence to positively impact society. One would not have to look very far to find a celebrity who has found a way to do that, Mariska Hargitay, who portrays Detective Olivia Benson on Law and Order Special Victims, volunteered at a rape crisis center for to learn more about her role.

She was so profoundly impacted by her work with sexual assault victims,  that she has continued to support foundations that assist victims of sexual assault. Everyone can be a role model;  it is up to us to decided what kind of role model we choose to be.

Learn more here:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/05/showbiz/50-cent-charges

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE9621GG20130703?irpc=932

http://m.usatoday.com/article/news/2488851

http://www.today.com/entertainment

Christal Sizemore has served in crime scene, probation, protective investigatiion, and disaster relief with county state, and federal agencies in Florida.