The Jersey shore is an MTV television series that follows the lives of eight Italian/Hispanic Americans: Angelina Pivarnick, Jennie Farley, Michael Sorrentino, Nicole Pilozzi, Paul DelVecchio, Vinny Guadagnino, Ronnie Margo, and Sammi Giancola. The Jersey Shore is currently in its second season which is based in Miami Beach, Florida. The first season was filmed mainly in Seaside Heights, New Jersey In a nutshell the second season exposes fighting, sex, cheating, and frequent partying. A major shocker of the show is the unhealthy relationship of two of the housemates Ronnie Margo and Sammi Giancola. These two individuals broke up before season two began; however rekindled their relationship during the season. In season two thus far, Ronnie has hurled profanities , belittled, and threatened to reestablish a relationship with an ex-girlfriend to a distraught Miss Giancola. Sammi, repeatedly breaks up with Ronnie; however as the show reveals they quickly reconcile each time. The break up and make up process happened a couple of times within the second season thus far. In a recent MTV interview it was revealed that Ronnie and Sammi are still a couple.
I believe their relationship is a perfect example of the cycle of abuse. According to TEAR, Inc. (Teens Experiencing Abusive Relationships), a dating violence prevention organization, the cycle of abuse consist of three stages.
1. The first stage of the unhealthy cycle is the green stage, which is exemplified as being a state when both partners are happy to be in a relationship, at this point the relationship is loving and enjoyable.
2. The second stage is the yellow stage in which tension is building within the relationship. The couple may be getting into small arguments, and the abuser may become frustrated with their partner. There is yelling, screaming, and threatening. This is also the period where the abuser may act sullen and withdrawal affection from the victim. This phase lasts the longest it could last from days, to weeks, months, or even years.
3. The last stage is the red stage. This stage is usually the shortest stage and the most harmful. This stage is based on one specific incident that leads to an explosion of anger. The abuser may physically, psychologically or verbally harm their partner.
4. The abuser quickly defaults into the green stage again to make up for their behavior. This is when the abuser will bring flowers, declare their love for the victim, say they are sorry, and may even enter counseling.
Even in the midst of the “crazy” Jersey Shore household, the other cast mates are able to recognize the unhealthy aspects of the relationship however neither Ronnie and Sammi are able to make lasting changes, from what I have seen thus far, to the unhealthy aspects of their relationship. My fear is that the millions of teens, tweens, and young adults, viewing the show may interpret the cycle of abuse between Ronnie and Sammi as normal. I hope they end the unhealthy aspects of their relationship as it plays out in season two and season three. For more information on unhealthy relationships and dating violence visit www.teensagainstabuse.org and www.loveisrespect.org.
Again, I do not recommend watching this show.