Rihanna will take the stand against Chris Brown this afternoon. It will be a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to go to trial. If convicted, Brown could go to prison for upwards of four years for his alleged battery of once-girlfriend Rihanna in February. The hearing will not be televised and Mark Geragos, Brown's attorney, will be able to cross-examine Rihanna.

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The news of the alleged battery, especially between a previously clean-cut and apparently wealthy and stable celebrity couple, has caused waves for the past months and brought the issue of domestic violence to the forefront. Not only has this case highlighted the universal aspect of domestic violence, it has also sparked debate as to the appropriate response to such violence by the press, feminists, the victim herself, and the perpetrator. There's a feeling that Rihanna is in a unique position to model a response of separation and legal action against her abuser, and it sure seems like a tall order--to not only be a victim of domestic violence, but to be expected to experience the aftermath of that abuse publicly and in such a highly-charged environment. Here's hoping she is full of strength and resolve today and every day. -Devan via abc news, photo AP

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