Jezebel has a really awesome post about a post up right now about Rihanna and Chris Brown. My heart hurts for Rihanna, who, no matter what she chooses to do (press charges, dump him, get back together with him), will forever be scarred by this incident. It's one of those moments in life where bad things happen and right up front, no matter WHAT you do, your life will never be the same. I hope she has a good support system- people who are going to stick by her and love her and not judge her NO MATTER WHAT SHE CHOOSES TO DO. These situations are always complicated and emotional. I don't presume to know what's going to be best for her. I hope others don't either.
Having worked in a domestic violence shelter, I can attest to the fact that the situation that Jezebel's Megan describes is really quite accurate. Law enforcement officers aren't monsters and members of the prosecution aren't sadists, but the system is absolutely 100% overwhelmed. Good police and prosecutors can handle the overload with grace and empathy. Others, due to lack of training or lack of emotional ability, cannot. It's a hard, tragic, shitty situation for everyone. My heart goes out to all involved.
Update 1: Excellent interview with Elizabeth Mendez Berry, author of "Love Hurts"- an article looking at domestic violence, specifically within the hip-hop culture.