Adriene's Response to Sean "Diddy" Combs

Safe Harbor Voice  |  May 31, 2024
Adriene's Response to Sean "Diddy" Combs

Sean Combs, AKA “Diddy,” AKA “Puffy,” AKA “Love,” recently added a new title to his repertoire: BATTERER. 

Combs is widely known as a rapper, record producer, record executive, a man of enormous power, someone who symbolized the movement of hip-hop into both mainstream and high-end culture. Combs has been a notorious gatekeeper, not just in the world of hip-hop, but in the business, media, and fashion industry.

Last year, two New York laws opened limited windows of time in which people can file civil lawsuits alleging sexual abuse, even if the statute of limitations has passed.  As a result, in November 2023, Combs’ ex-girlfriend, Cassie Ventura, filed a lawsuit in which she alleged a plethora of horrific abuse, rape, human trafficking, exploitation, and other crimes at the hands of Combs.  In his true gaslighting fashion, Combs vehemently denied the allegations of the suit, accusing Ventura of lying and “…seeking a payday”.  However, within 24-hours, Combs quickly settled the suit with Ventura, likely including a new non-disclosure agreement.

Publicly, the line was drawn, and those who believed or didn’t believe Ventura’s allegations chose their respective sides.  To solidify their beliefs, those who didn’t believe Ventura relied on age old stereotypes of DV survivors, i.e. “why didn’t she leave him?”, “well, she wanted the money and the lifestyle”, or the most laughable of all, “why did she wait so long to tell?”  DV survivors and those of us who work with DV survivors were extremely triggered by the abundance of victim blaming aimed at Ventura.  And if I’m honest, I have to say that what was most disturbing to me was the high number of women who unjustly blamed Ventura.  Survivor “Jackie” spoke to me about her feelings when the video was released stating, “it is okay to feel triggered from seeing the video, no matter how far you are I your healing journey.  And it’s also okay to use or re-use the resources that have helped you in the past”.

Fast forward to May 2024, when CNN published the video of self-proclaimed “bad boy” Sean Combs running down a motel hallway in a towel, chasing Ventura, catching up to her, punching and then kicking her repeatedly as she cowered on the hallway floor, and then dragging her back to their hotel room.  Well!  What do we have here? Was this the proof that the naysayers needed to believe that Combs, who has a long history of assault really did it? Enter said naysayers, now stepping over the line to join those of us who read every inch of the court documents and KNEW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Ventura had indeed experienced very intense trauma at the hands of Combs, for years!

Now forward to a week after the video dropped, naysayers continue to flee their declaration of disbelief of the allegations, as Combs posted an apology video.  His poor excuse for an apology revealed all the insincere, self-absorbed narcissistic traits associated with an abuser of his caliber.  Cue Rihanna singing, “…I know you’re only sorry you got caught”.

So why didn’t people believe Ventura the first time?  Oh yeah, that’s right, because a powerful multimillionaire music mogul like Combs couldn’t control a young woman like Cassie, couldn’t groom her when she entered the music industry, couldn’t threaten to kill her family if she left him, couldn’t blackball her in the industry and influence her livelihood, couldn’t pay $50,000 to obtain the hotel footage of him kicking and dragging Ventura, or have the car of a rapper interested in Ventura blown to pieces, now could he?

Domestic Abuse is about POWER and CONTROL and affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.  Sadly, there are millions of men and women experiencing domestic abuse, and their abusers have NONE of the money, access, and resources that Combs has.  But what they do have in common with Combs is the power and control tactics they employ to keeps the cycle of domestic abuse going. 

Currently, Combs faces numerous other civil lawsuits, as well as a possible criminal indictment after feds raided his home for evidence of sex trafficking and other charges.  The imminent “downfall of Diddy” is way past due, and I, for one, hope this is just the beginning of exposing the intricacies of domestic abuse among the rich and famous, as well as among the average abuser walking around us. 

Victim blaming can decrease once education and prevention becomes prevalent.  When we focus on the abuser, and NOT the abused, more victims may become more likely to speak up.  As Cassie Ventura stated, "Domestic Violence is THE issue. It broke me down to someone I never thought I would become. With a lot of hard work, I am better today, but I will always be recovering from my past," Ventura continued. "Thank you to everyone that has taken the time to take this matter seriously. My only ask is that EVERYONE open your heart to believing victims the first time. It takes a lot of heart to tell the truth out of a situation that you were powerless in."


If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, please call Safe Harbor Helpline at 1-800-291-2139. 


Adriene Atkinson

I am a survivor of domestic abuse.

“I didn’t know that I was being abused because...

I am a survivor of domestic abuse.

“I didn’t know that I was being abused because my definition of abuse looked different. My husband pushed me, but most of my suffering was verbal and psychological. I left my husband to protect our young daughter. Almost immediately I felt the weight of his oppression begin to lift. I could see a difference in my daughter as well. Then he broke into my home and assaulted me in-front of her.

I sought help and was led to Safe Harbor. My daughter and I are in counseling now. I am sorting out the mess that abuse has caused. I am finding my voice and seeking opportunities to grow and better my life as well as my daughter's. She will gauge her self-worth from my own self-worth. I must show her that she deserves the best, by expecting the best for myself.

Many years I suffered in silence. By telling my story and being honest with friends and family, I am taking control of my life again.”

- Beth



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