The Lure of Abuse: Why Sammi Giancola of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” is Heading for Destruction

31 Aug

” ‘Jersey Shore’ ? Why would anyone talk about that show on a blog about surviving rape?”

Okay, I admit – I’m addicted to MTV’s reality breakout hit show “Jersey Shore”. I know it’s not the most intelligent programming to be a fan of, but my excuse is I’m still kind of young, single, and just like watching the scene of an accident from the comfort of your car as traffic control police urge you to drive past the damage, with “Jersey Shore” it’s hard to look away. :-p

From an entirely different angle, I’m dedicating myself to speaking out against abuse of any kind. Rape is the focus of my blog because I feel that the topic of rape doesn’t get the amount of attention it needs to be taken as seriously as other crimes that are just as terrible. But I think that any conversation about physical, sexual, emotional, spousal, domestic, elderly, child, or verbal abuse is worthwhile on this blog, too.

Please click away now if you can’t stand “Jersey Shore” … I won’t hold it against you!


"Jersey Shore" Sammi Giancola and Ronnie Ortiz-Magro (courtesy of

Messing With A Good Thing

Season 4 began with the infamous house couple Ronnie and Sammi broken up, freshly single, and heading from the Jersey Shore to party in Florence, Italy. And really, they should have stayed that way. Ronnie seemed to want to drop Sammi for good, and Sammi was making a lot of commentary about working on herself and just wanting to have a good time. Their relationship was simply too volatile to work. They alienated a lot of fans in season 3 with all of their bullsh – I mean, arguing. I kind of like Sammi (even with her ‘smelling doo-doo’ facial expression and grating voice and being way too into herself and her looks) and wanted to see her better off this season.

But they got back together in episode 3 while viewers around the world screamed a collective “NOOOOOOO!!!”

A preview for episode 4 showed what looked like another classic “Rammi” blowout. The episode aired last week and confirmed that we’re probably in for another season of intervention-worthy fighting. Drunk Sammi spilled out her fears of Ronnie cheating again, causing a brawl between Ron and Mike ‘The Situation’ when she named Mike as the one who informed her about Ron’s desire to hook up with 5 girls in one night. Episode 5 airs in my neighborhood tomorrow, and although I don’t know what happens to Mike yet (looks like the guy may have flat-lined thanks to Ronnie), I’m pretty sure of one thing: Sammi has to get the hell out of this relationship before Ronnie kills her.

More drama (courtesy of has a list of questions to ask yourself if you’re worried that you might be in an abusive relationship., and Sammi and Ronnie’s relationship answers positively to most of them, including:

Does your partner (Ronnie):

  • humiliate or yell at you?
  • criticize you and put you down?
  • treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
  • blame you for their own abusive behavior?
  • see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
  • act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • have a bad and unpredictable temper?
  • hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • destroy your belongings?

Do you (Sammi):

  • feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
  • avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
  • feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
  • believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  • wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
  • feel emotionally numb or helpless?

What’s changed since they got back together? Nothing. But what is kind of stunning and at the same time sad is, Sammi came into season 4 looking dead serious about moving on from the hell that was “Rammi” Season 3. Unlike her previous appearances, Sammi stayed out of bed – all day! – and interacted with the rest of the cast in the house, and stayed away from Ron. It was obvious that it was hard for her and she admitted to missing his company (who would find it easy to live with their ex just after a break-up?), but Sammi never initiated any contact with Ron … unless she was drunk. She told the cameras that she knew how destructive their relationship was for the both of them, but in the heat of a packed nightclub with a few cocktails tossed back to blur her vision and her judgment, watching the only guy she had feelings for – however dangerous – getting close to other girls had to make her terribly alone. Being lonely is probably why Sammi decided to take Ronnie back just one more time, even though she had to basically pretend that everything that had ever gone wrong in their relationship was her fault, and ignore the fact that Ronnie once broke her reading glasses just to hurt her.

“He beats her but she stays, so she must love it.”

Sammi’s case is also an example of how hard it is to motivate yourself to get out of an abusive situation. When you live with someone that’s abusing you, you’re in contact with that person constantly. That’s a huge amount of opportunity to get inside your head, twist your thinking, and have you depending on your abuser for sanity. It’s easy to grow to feel like, if you can somehow convince your abuser of not wanting to harm you anymore, you’ll be justified in thinking you’re worth anything better. After all, your abuser is someone who is supposed to love you by the sheer nature of your relationship to him or her – because he or she is your parent, your relative, your boyfriend or girlfriend, or your spouse. If he or she can’t see anything in you that’s worth loving and protecting, why should anyone else be able to? Right?


Sammi will never read this blog, but I really believe she’s a combination of low self-worth and bad friends and family, who doesn’t deserve all the hate she gets for being an idiot. Run, Sammi, run! After all, this wasn’t too long ago:

Season 3 in a nutshell (courtesy of

6 Responses to “The Lure of Abuse: Why Sammi Giancola of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” is Heading for Destruction”

  1. jbullinger September 9, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    Great post, and I completely agree with you. Sammi and Ron are going to show up in a murder-suicide headline one day. A few weeks ago I heard a rumor that she was pregnant by him and I gasped. I hope it’s not true.

    Also, I appreciate that you posted the abuser checklist, because it really me reconsider my own past relationships. I actually threw my husband out the night he told me he “felt like Ronnie right now.” (Miami season, during all the cheating, appropriately.)

    • E. A. September 13, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

      Jbullinger, you have a will of steel! To throw your husband out takes some serious guts; I’d guess a lot of people don’t appreciate how hard it is to take a stand against someone you love and are committed to because they’re abusive, or getting you ready for abuse down the line.
      I read the same rumor about Sammi! If so … oh, God. I just cringe at the thought of her immediate future.
      People don’t have to like her personality, but that doesn’t mean that she’s deserving of abuse – or mockery because she’s in an abusive situation that she can’t see her way out of. Thank you for commenting, Jbullinger 🙂

    • Tom October 23, 2011 at 5:50 am #

      Honestly,I got to this website by chance and as a young male in society I value and understand the importance of sexual abuse and violence awareness, except on the topic of this dramatized relationship for television, first of all, the amount of editing that goes on by MTV is unbeknownst to any of us as viewers and although its your opinion (and I have to say its skewed) is that “Samantha” is a battered or abused woman is not true.
      The “arguments” are mutually aggressive between the two and we as the audience are shown this, and in the end it’s edited for maximum drama – as far as I know “Ronnie” doesn’t check off even half of that “list” (which in itself is anti-male, where did you even find that?)

      Also have you noticed they had gone a long time without any “drama” in the house? they seem to be doing fine.

      • E. A. December 5, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

        Hi Tom, thanks for dropping by. I agree that we can’t know what MTV leaves on the cutting room floor, but at the same time, MTV can’t edit in what doesn’t already exist – so how does a viewer explain away the drama that we DID witness over the past 3 seasons? But I give you that season 4 was surprisingly toned down, and good thing, because, damn. Maybe the complaint mail coming in off of season 3 was so much that the producers stepped in and asked Sammi and Ronnie to chill – who knows?

      • J.E.K April 2, 2012 at 12:09 am #

        Much agreed. Females can be just as abusive. Ronnie went off the handle a few times, but he was also under extreme pressure and feeling very trapped about living with Sammi and dealing with the arguments every day. Many, many, MANY arguments were intiated by Sammi. You act as if she is scared to say things, scared to tell Ron when he is wrong. I call bullshit.
        I’ve seen every episode and 90% of the time, Ron will just have a down face on and Sammi will ride into him, “Whats wrong, why won’t you talk to me, you ruined my night, we’re done.” Out of absolutely NOWHERE. Or Ron will be dancing at the club and some girl will be in the vicinity, Sammi mouths “Your a fucking asshole, we’re done.”
        PUH-LEASE. Sammi isn’t afraid of anything, if anything Ron is scared of her. He is consistently buying her roses, initiating the talks, owning up to what he did, saying “I’m sorry.” He constantly tries to better things by telling her how much he loves her, which she almost never reciprocates.
        Sammi is not the angel here just because she is female. She put Ron through LOTS and lots of tests, and mind games.
        And that’s saying a lot, becuase I’M a female, and I know exactly the kind of mind games females play, and let me tell you, Sammi definitely enjoys some controlling and watching Ron squirm. Sorry but I think this blog was made just because the writer needed a topic, no offense really to the writer’s opinion.

  2. Kolie September 9, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    What concerns me most about these two is they never seem to care how much their abusive fights affect their friends. Now imagine they decide to bring a child into this world. With such a lack of stability, with so much volatile and violent behavior, a child will be alternatively walking on eggshells and terrified. Ron and Sam get so wrapped up in themselves they wont be able to even notice their child in these moments. Such a child is at risk for drugs, selfharm, mental illnesses like bipolar and schizoprenia which are often induced by trauma, and possibly suicide. I fear for the world that these two are still trying to stay together and worse telling the public that their relationship is ‘much healthier now’. Truly scary.

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