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Bonnie Fuller

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Why MTV Was Right to Show the Disturbing Domestic Violence on Teen Mom

Posted: 10/08/10 01:12 PM ET

You may have had the same visceral horrified reaction when Teen Mom Amber slapped and kicked her fiance. Here's why it needed to be aired.

How could MTV have shown such a disturbing scene? Amber is physically and emotionally abusive to her much larger ex-fiance Gary. She slaps him hard, throws a solid punch to his head and then kicks him in the back as he flees down the stairs.

But the emotional abuse is almost worse. She calls him a fat piece of sh*t," trash," and if that weren't enough, she tells him, "Shut your f*cking mouth," and a lot more.

It's disgusting and disturbing. And this all takes place in front of innocent little daughter 23-month-old Leah, who is walking around at her feet.

At first I felt MTV was irresponsible to air this scene of domestic abuse. And especially since the pair is now the subject of a domestic violence investigation in their home state of Indiana. Child Protective Services is also investigating whether baby Leah is safe with the couple.

Now, however, after talking to domestic abuse experts, reality show producers, image consultants and reading Amber's apology, I've changed my mind.

I believe MTV was right to air the disturbing footage!

It's good that the general public is seeing this actually happening. "It's very real, very honest, very unflinching." says Eric Anderson, director of Youth Programs for Break The Cycle, an organization which addresses teen dating violence. "Even though MTV shows dating abuse and shows something not commonly talked about -- a young man being abused by his girlfriend -- it encourages more people to speak out and is a teachable moment."

 

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