Rob Kardashian’s defense for his social media tantrum last week include characterizing the behavior as “reactionary,” as in, unusual and temporary. One of the most common misconceptions about domestic abuse is that it occurs when one partner “flies off the handle,” in the same way Kardashian is claiming he behaved when he posted nonconsensual nude photos of ex-fiancee Blac Chyna on Instagram and ranted about the problems with their relationship on Twitter. According to experts: “Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior in which one exerts power and control over another individual.”
The Hot Zone previously reported the connections between so-called “revenge porn” and domestic violence, including the accusations Blac Chyna made in response to Kardashian’s online tirade. Chyna and her lawyer, Lisa Bloom, publicly notified Kardashian that they would be seeking a restraining order in response to his behavior and they did so on Monday. “In new court documents obtained by Us Weekly on Monday, July 10, Blac Chyna accuses Rob Kardashian of physically abusing her.” As a part of her temporary restraining order request, Chyna divulged that Kardashian allegedly punched her, knocking her to the ground and then following her when she retreated to her bedroom. “I went to my bedroom and locked the door,” Chyna was quoted in the court documents, “Rob was so out of control that he broke the hinges off my door.”
Court documents also reveal Chyna’s allegations that Kardashian owns a gun and has previously threatened to kill himself, a manipulation tactic commonly used by abusive partners. According to loveisrespect.org, “if your partner regularly threatens suicide, particularly whenever you’re not doing something they want you to do…understand that this is a form of emotional abuse: your partner is trying to manipulate you by playing on your feelings of love and fear for them.”
Chyna claims in the documents that she is “terrified” of Kardashian.
While the single punch does not represent “a pattern” of physical abuse, domestic violence is almost never exclusively physical in nature. “Intimate partner violence exists on a continuum of behaviors—it’s not just punching and slapping, and it’s rare that the first act of abuse is a violent one. Abuse can be emotional, psychological, verbal, and sexual, and often escalates.”
The alleged punching incident happened a few months after the couple had officially split, according to reports. The most recent outburst by Kardashian, with its harassing, abusive, shaming tone and content, also represents what could be termed an escalation in abusive behavior.
TMZ reported Kardashian’s own allegations that Chyna attempted to strangle him with an iPhone cord and then smashed his property when it came time for her to move out of their home. While “some research, much of it disputed, does indicate that women and men behave violently in their relationships at about equal rates…that research often doesn’t differentiate between types of violence or address patterns of violence or injuries sustained by violence. It will equate a push with pushing someone down the stairs, or one act of violence with years of abuse.” It will equate a smaller woman attempting to strangle a larger man with a phone charging cord with a that man punching that woman, then breaking her doors off its hinges, and threatening to take his own life if he doesn’t get what he wants from that woman.
The language is important, too: Chyna states that she is terrified of Kardashian and Kardashian states that she cheated on him, used too much of his money and tried to strangle him one time. She fears for her life and he fears for his property, including the clear way he considers her his property.
Chyna has responded to that by publicly noting that she returned jewelry and cars, among other things, given to her by Kardashian, stating “I’m not gonna let this man buy me.”
Despite all of this, Chyna has also stated that she does not plan to keep the child she had with Kardashian, Dream, away from him. “I would never take Dream away from her dad.”
The restraining order she was granted is temporary and she likely has a case for copyright infringement and harassment should she decide to pursue it. Kardashian’s behavior is particularly troublesome considering the relationship his famous sisters have with “revenge porn.”
In 2007, Kim Kardashian’s ex Ray J leaked a sex tape the two had made in 2003, which the Kardashians utilized to boost their media presence and build their “famous for being themselves” media empire. Ray J has continued to contact Kim on social media and has made public statements about her body, including her private parts, in behavior similar to the patterns of control and emotional abuse Rob Kardashian, Kim’s younger brother, has exhibited with Chyna.
According to withoutmyconsent.org, “The Internet allows offenders to terrorize their victims in front of a global online audience. Nonconsensual porn is one way that abusers terrorize victims.” Kardashian’s use of multiple social media platforms to express various negative thoughts, opinions, accusations about Blac Chyna as well as nonconsensual images of her in the nude, opened her up to the abuse of millions of online “audience-members,” many of whom are infamous for perpetuating and escalating such abuse. Accusing her of cheating is the same as saying “she deserves it,” and claiming that he paid for her plastic surgery and jewelry is his way of saying “I paid for her, I can do what I want with her.”