Well, it's inevitable that this is going to come up in a blog pertaining to partner violence, issues of sexual assault, feminism, etc.
A couple weeks ago, MediaWatch posted a story on the violent incident between Rihanna and Chris Brown. Recently, after the circulation of the photograph (which was very brutal and very real and has since been removed from most mainstream news sites), there are rumours that they are back together as a couple despite cancelling their Grammy performance together and Rihanna's reported initial plans to return to native Barbados and lay low for a while.
There's probably few better ways to articulate the complexities and nuances of potential emotions from such a distance as ours than a Jaclyn Friedman's post on the blog Yes Means Yes articulating what their reconcilation doesn't mean.
1. That Rihanna is stupid.
2. That we (the public) should forgive Chris Brown.
3. That the fact that they are back together doesn't mean Rihanna has betrayed any kind of sisterhood.
4. That if he hurts her again, she deserves it.
Obviously not, for many reasons.
And to echo others, it shouldn't take an illegally obtained photo for the world to believe her story and empathize with her ordial.