With reporting by Sway Calloway
This week Ray Rice was cut by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely from the NFL, after a video leaked showing an assault on his then-fiancée, and now wife Janay Rice. In the days since the footage leaked, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has seen an 84 percent increase in call volume, and women have been sharing their own stories using the Twitter hashtags #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft.
Chris Brown, who was sentenced to five years of probation for assaulting his then-girlfriend, Rihanna, in 2009, spoke to MTV News about the advice he would share with Ray Rice, or anyone dealing with issues of domestic violence.
"I think it’s all about the choices you make," Brown told MTV News' Sway Calloway on Thursday (September 11). "With me, I deal with a lot of anger issues from my past – not knowing how to express myself verbally and at the same time not knowing how to cope with my emotions and deal with them and understand what they are."
If you or someone you know is experiencing relationship abuse, please head to Love Is Respect.
"So I think help is great," he added. "I still talk to my therapist twice a week, and it helps me to…if I’m frustrated and I’m dealing with something, to vent and say what I’m going through so I can hear from an actual clinical person, ‘this is how you should react,’ or ‘it’s good to feel this way because feelings, emotions, and energy are supposed to come and go. It’s not supposed to stay there, you’re not supposed to keep it inside, because it’ll bottle up and you’ll become a monster.'"
The 25-year-old noted that he's not in a position to pass judgement, but he's simply speaking from his own experience.
"For me, dealing with my anger issues and understanding myself and the life I’ve been through, where I’m headed and where I want to be has helped me focus on what’s really important and not F up," he explained. "For anybody who's going through that situation or anybody who's dealing with it -- it’s all about the choices. Every situation is different but it's all about the choices you make and how you control your anger."
"To Ray, or anybody else -- because I’m not better than the next man -- I can just say I’ve been down that road. I deal with situations and I've made my mistakes too, but it's all about how you push forward and how you control yourself."
For more information and vital facts about gender-based violence, including dating violence, head over to Look Different.