National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Final Thoughts on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

We wanted our posts about the RHOBH to reach survivors, victims and bystanders alike in order to spark conversations about how we deal with abuse when we see it happen in our own lives and in the lives of our friends.

We did not get the chance to finish our discussion (we launched a new, hosted an event in LA, led James Brown on a tour, and many other exciting endeavors), so we wanted to take a moment today to conclude our thoughts on what was an emotional season of this show, not only for those involved but also the viewers at home who found parallels between their lives and the housewives’ when it came to domestic violence.

Believe Your Friends

How many times did we hear the phrase, “Unless I see it…” in regards to Taylor’s abuse this season? So. Many. Times. The friends had a really hard time believing that their friend could be experiencing something so horrific. Unfortunately, this is a really common phenomenon for most victims of domestic violence.

If you are a friend who is struggling to believe, please consider how hard it must have been for your friend to disclose that fact. Victims often are isolated from their friends and family and have had their self-esteem lessened. Believe what he/she says.

Still really struggling to believe? Consider what you know of the couple. Does your friend’s partner display issues with power and control? In the case of Taylor, we had seen Russell show warning signs. He told her when to leave parties. He dictated what happened in the household (remember the dog incident?) and Taylor was often talking about her marriage trouble. Think back to these signs when you find yourself wanting to voice your doubt.

Your Friend’s Safety Should Trump Winning an Argument

Watching Taylor climb into the limo with Russell after being denied entry at Kyle’s party in episode 16, “Uninvited,” made us nervous. Abuse is not rational. Just because Taylor was not truly responsible for getting turned away at the door did not mean that Russell would see it that way. He could have held it against her, or “punished” her when they were back home.

The way the group handled the situation was ill-advised. While they may have had the right to turn the couple away, their method was questionable. They brought the issue up to Russell, reminding him that Taylor herself had told Camille the secrets in the first place. It was risky for Taylor to leave with him, considering he was embarrassed and might strike back to regain power.

In this situation, though it may have made the friends feel better to not have strife between Camille and Russell, they didn’t recognize the danger they placed Taylor in by either making her explain why she shared the info in the first place or by having Russell blame her for the situation.

If you have a friend who is being abused, their safety should trump friend dynamics. Be a watch-guard for them. You can’t fix your friend’s situation, but you can watch your actions and be mindful of potential danger you may place them in, especially if their abuser is around.

It Can Take Many Times for a Victim to Leave

We also heard the common refrain of “Why doesn’t she just leave?” at multiple points of the season. We don’t blame the friends for wondering this because it’s hard to see a friend in pain, and as a society, we tend to oversimplify relationships. It is so difficult for a victim to leave because of a variety of reasons spanning from emotional to financial.

We want to point out that it is not uncommon for a victim to try to leave before leaving for good. Even then, the victim may still love the abuser. Russell was the father of Taylor’s child, her attachment to him was incredibly strong. It is completely normal and justified that she should struggle with leaving the marriage.

In conclusion, it’s easy to analyze what’s happening in these relationships because we are not the ones living them. We wish nothing but healing and peace for all of the Housewives and their families as they recover from the experiences of this time in their lives. Our hearts especially go out to Taylor and Kennedy as they move forward.

We hope our discussion of these episodes helped you in some way. We only seek to empower you with information. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, please contact us so that we can connect you to resources in your area. Please call 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224 today.

8 replies
  1. Petra says:

    Too many times friends choose to look the other way rather then having to deal with it.
    My friends looked the other way and then told me why didnt I just leave not understanding that he had threatened to kill me and my child so many times you do believe it because he tried ” half” way enough times you DO believe it.
    Finally after 13 years I took my child and ran, we moved away where he still almost two years later doesnt know where exactly we live. I feel safer but until he is in jail or else… I will never feel 100% safe but PLEASE keep your eyes open and you will see. mine used to throw cans in the supermarket at me when he got mad and people just looked the other way.
    that just reinforces the abusers words that no one will care!!
    Please be that person that cares and save a life.

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Thank you for sharing your story with our blog community. From what you’ve shared, it sounds like your experience with friends was similar to that of what we hear from a lot of people who experience abuse in their relationship. It isn’t just about leaving an abuser; we know it’s not that easy. There are many different reasons why someone would stay in that kind of relationship. I am glad to hear that you are your child are safe now and moving forward. If you would like to talk to someone, you can always call the National Domestic Violence Hotline. An advocate on the Hotline could talk with you about local programs that offer support services to victims/survivors of domestic violence, if that’s something you’d be interested in. Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts.


  2. Grace says:

    I am a new immigrant in US coming from an Asian country. My husband petitioned me & my daughter (4 yrs old) & we are now staying with him as permanent resident after 4 years of being separated from each other. I have no work & is a full time mom to our daughter.

    I admit that me & my husband are not in good terms brought about by the long separation, lack of good communication, lies & mutual differences.

    Almost 3 weeks ago, for the nth time I questioned him regarding frequent calls & communication with a fellow Asian girl who happened to be his office mate. He was very defensive & accused me of being jealous for nothing. Actually, it’s not jealousy but since he already had a history of lies I have a hard time trusting him again. Besides, his gestures already changed he became distant, cold & disrespectful.

    Last June 7 around 2pm after a long silence I asked him if we have no Internet or did he turned it off…he told me that he would even get my phone cut so I questioned him why coz its my only way of communicating with my relatives. Until we reached the point of me leaving but he threatened me that I could not bring my daughter with me. I was so mad & approached him and he slap me in the face which my daughter saw. He threatened me that if ever I leave with my daughter he will file a kidnapping case against me.

    I am helpless I love my daughter very much. I had high paying jobw iin my Asian country which I gave up because I want to unite my family but I don’t like the way I am being treated. I have no plans of causing trouble with the father of my daughter but since I am new here consider me ignorant. I just want to know my rights & gain friends to lift my spirit and be able to make better decision for me & my daughter.

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:


      It is common for an abusive partner to use the threat of kidnapping to keep you from leaving him. He does not have the right to control you or hit you. It sounds like he cut off the Internet and the threat to cut off your phone to isolate you away from your family; and to show you he has the power and control. You do have rights. We are not legal advocates but can get you some phone numbers to legal counsel (they can talk to you about custody, divorce, and protective orders). You can call us 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 for the numbers for legal advocates and counseling/support groups.
      Thank you for contacting The Share Your Voice Blog.


  3. vickie says:

    i have a call dv many time for help , turn off the phone , told me i had to find away to get to the shelter , wasn’t helping me at all , i need a home and help , this men is crazy ,and they will not do ,nothing , the police try to help ,more then this men , he said, was playing , but he wasn’t , i try to take him 2 his sister, but she said the veteran can find him a place , he said if i will take him , he will kill her like he did before , and ask her about it is to , he dont like christian , people , he like saling his medicine , giving money to crackhead , another thing , the abuse , yelling and now hitting ,also ,he raped me , i guess ,will have to died before ,.he stole money from me , yell at my kids and everybody kids and people , his sister , tell him not to take his medicine , and stole his money , and his old friend brenda william ,they said batter her me , i lose everything in a storm in the project in new bern , my roof fall in and they did nothing , to help but eviction ,now the abuse ,im going throught ,

    • HotlineAdmin_SS says:

      Hi Vickie,

      Per our community guidelines a part of your post had to be edited to remove some of your personally identifying information. It sounds like the situation you are in is very complex and dangerous. If you can call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 an Advocate can speak with you about the specifics of your situation and assit you with referrals and safety planning. The Hotline is available 24 hours a day.

      Thank you for sharing in our Share Your Voice Blog Community,


  4. Sara says:

    I am letting my ex saty over at me y new apartment because ,he claims he had nowhere else to go. The reason he is my ex ,is because he was verbally and physica;;y abusive to me ,even when I was pregnang he grab me by so hard and pushed me to the ground that he tore my bra. I was glad that nothing happened to my baby. But I broke it off about 2 and half years ago. I allowed him to move back because I felt sorry for him ,he is a drug addict ,I thought I could help him be a better father .He promise he was going to behave and not argue ,fight in front of our now 5 year old daughter,well recently he had been acting really strange , he took my car and didn’t come back until the next day, when I comfronted him he stared into space like he wasn’t listening to what I was asking him , finally after a day of silence I asked him again he got extremely upset that he bagan to push me ,asking me to leave him alone . I left him alone .But about 2 hours later he asked to borrow the car I said no ,he yelled and screamed at me saying that I was a ungrateful bitch that I do nothing but to fuck him over! I was extremely confused that I yelled back you are crazy pyscho ,well he got in my face and threatened to kill me, he got a knife and said he would cut my neck , I said leave me alone. I ran away from him , He then got my keys and took my car without my permission. I reported my car stolen to the cops ,but I didn’t mentioned the threat he had made to me. I was soo scared now , he came back today around 3 am and he said nothing again , I left him alone and later on I picked up my babysitter so she could take care of my daughter. As soon as I get home he starts yelling ,cursing I ask him to calm down and to go to work ,(if he didnt work he had to move out of my apartment that was the deal) He said no, im not leaving call the cops ,cus I am not leaving and so I did ,he got scared and left running. The cops came and they were really nice and they said to not let him in ,if he comes back and there is any threats to call the cops.I am so scared and I also feel soo guilty that its all my fault ..why did I let him come back knowing how he was , I believe and believe , I am soo scared that I am pregnant because for the last month he was there he had forced me to have sex with him. I don’t want to have his child , I am so confused. Please help

    • HotlineAdmin_CH says:

      It sounds like you’re in an extremely scary situation and I am really glad you shared your story with the Share Your Voice community. It takes a lot of courage to reach out for help especially when you are feeling so guily, but this is not your fault. There are a lot of confusing emotions and thoughts that go along with being involved with an abuser. It can be very overwhelming and hard to make decisions or know what to do, but trust me you are not alone. Everyday, women all over the world are going through situations similar to yours and there are people that want to help. Advocates here at the hotline are standing by 24/7 (@ 800-799-7233) to offer you emotional support as well as explore the supportive resources in your area. We can also discuss your options and even help you develop a plan of action. Please know that you are not alone and there are those who want to help. We’re just a phone call away.

      Take Care,

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