"Domestic violence is a big secret," the singer, 21, tells Glamour magazine. "No kid goes around and lets people know their parents fight. Teenage girls can't tell their parents that their boyfriend beat them up.
"It's one of the things we [women] will hide, because it's embarrassing."
But if there's any good to come from her experience – besides her own personal growth – it's that others who face violence in their lives can take heart from her story, she says.
"My story was broadcast all over the world for people to see, and they have followed every step of my recovery," she says. "The positive thing that has come out of my situation is that people can learn from that."
Brown, 20, who has said he's ashamed by his behavior in February, pleaded guilty to felony assault, was sentenced to five years probation, six months of community labor and a year of domestic violence classes, and ordered to not contact Rihanna for five years.