What Kim Kardashian can teach us about abuse

“I thought about calling the police but was afraid and decided not to do so.” (Kim Kardashian)

An abusive relationship includes a rush to get to the next level; abusers blame others for their problems & control their partner’s every move. They generally feel a sense of entitlement & don’t view their behavior as wrong. Emotional, financial, & sexual abuse usually precede physical abuse.

I do not know Kim Kardashian. I don’t have cable, & I had never heard of her or her sex tape until Summer 2011. I didn’t know she & Kris Humphries had only dated for 6 months before engagement until after Kim filed for divorce. I didn’t know Kris was hubs #2, that she had dated Reggie Bush, or that I was supposed to be keeping up with her.

I’m coming in as an outsider & doing a lot of “kim kardashian and …” googling. I found what I expected to find, which isn’t hard with specified search terms. I left “kim kardashian and abuse” for the end. I wanted a picture for myself before I read what everyone from ABC to TMZ had to say. I didn’t expect what I found.

Kim is a survivor of domestic violence. It happened before she was famous enough to keep her last name after nuptials.

Kim Kardashian was married for the first time in 2000, when she was just 19 years old, to music producer Damon Thomas. Damon filed for divorce in 2003 and it was finalized in 2004 after a contentious legal battle. Kim alleged physical and psychological abuse, according to PopEater. Kim filed papers stating: “Damon first hit me a few months after we were married,” and that the abuse continued and escalated into punching and choking.

This changes everything. I started out to use Kim as a straight-up example of how a relationship can appear to be serene when it’s actually savage. It had it all: the quick relationship, the demands to be in her every televised moment, the punch on Kourtney & Kim Take New York, and the sudden divorce; and then Kanye gets a cell phone, Kim stops taking birth control, and they tour flats in London all while Kim is still legally married to Kris. Abuser. Plain and simple. Classic, classic, classic I thought; this should be  easy. Not so much after I read this:

I had the whole post set in my head. I had even started putting the shell together:

An abusive relationship includes a rush to get to the next level; abusers blame others for their problems & control their partner’s every move. They generally feel a sense of entitlement & don’t view their behavior as wrong. Emotional, financial, & sexual abuse usually precede physical abuse. [transition needed]

This is the YouTube video of Dr. Drew calling out Kim for domestic violence, but it only covers this physical attack. Dr. Drew doesn’t go into what led up to Kim punching Kris for, essentially, stepping on her toe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9iPYZRqPc4

An abusive relationship doesn’t start with a left jab on the first date. There wouldn’t be any abusive relationships if they hit us on the first date, just a lot more assaults in the Crime tab on YourCityNews dot com.

When I first saw this video, I agreed that it was an example of what an abusive attack would look like. I agreed that anyone who recognized themselves in Kris at the moment of impact should get help, get packed, and get out.

I only realized the gravity of this segment when my morning radio host Hollywood-trashed me into the tid-bit that Kanye West had bought his first ever cell phone because Kim Kardashian asked him to, and it only worsened the panic when Google auto-filled my search box with “kim kardashian pregnant” and the stories of her and Kanye trying for a baby and buying a flat in London together filled my screen.

Her life is documented, photographed, and filmed to the Nth degree. I can easily google “kim kardashian engaged to kris humphries” and get story after story of every minute of their 11 month romance. Eleven months from introduced to divorced. That’s moving to the next level at warp speed.

But what about isolation, blaming, controlling, resenting, and entitlement? Physical violence generally comes last, and E! gave us that evidence of escalation, so where’s the in-between? 

Thankfully since E!, People, and TMZ all have a financial interest in her every minute this won’t be difficult. A stretch, maybe, but I’m not out to prove that Kim Kardashian is an abuser, just that the series of behaviors presented thru the press can show us what behaviors to watch out for when evaluating our own relationships. Hate me now.

But now I hate me now.

I was wrong about her, sort of. I do think her relationships with Kris Humphries and Kanye West demonstrate what an unhealthy relationship looks like, but I no longer feel she is the enemy. She’s one of us. Who knew?

She was married at 19 and abused for almost 4 years. That fucks with you, age 19 or 99. After her divorce from Damon Thomas she dated Ray J (sex tape), Reggie Bush (rumored sex abuse), and is now with Kanye, recently rumored to be an abuser himself.

Kim Kardashian is a celebrity. Her public image is a direct result of that social status, but the behaviors put out to press hold the disturbing pattern of an abuser. She is a victim, stuck in the cycle of abusive relationships, but she’s in dangerous territory to become a perpetrator according to the press.

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