‘Safe Haven’ Brings Domestic Violence to Big Screen: Why It’s More Than A Date Movie

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Photo: (Relativity Media)

Remember when “The Notebook” came out and everyone was all “if you’re a bird, I’m a bird”? Well, Nicholas Sparks’ latest movie adaptation hits theaters this Valentine’s Day, which means we have a new relationship to swoon over. Or do we?

Safe Haven” isn’t just about another healthy, loving relationship. The movie, starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel, follows Katie, played by Julianne, as she escapes from her husband, who also happens to be her abuser. She meets Alex, Josh Duhamel’s role, in a small beach town — he and the distant location turn out to be her “safe haven” from her past.

Although movie execs probably wanted the movie to debut on Valentine’s Day thinking it would be a great date movie, we have another suggestion.

With One Billion Rising and February being Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, we think this is the perfect time to take everyone — your girlfriends, bros, non-boyfriend guy friends, etc. — to see the movie. After all, the more people who learn and speak out about this issue, the better.

Still looking for inspiration? For Julianne Hough, this movie wasn’t just another potential blockbuster hit: this was personal. The actress has spoken out about her past abuse, which means the role she played was one she knew all too well. Other celebs, including Kelly Rowland and AnnaLynne McCord, have also spoken out about the importance of fighting back against violence against women.

If you’re wondering what to watch out for in your relationship (or a friend’s), check out these warning signs from Love Is Respect. You can speak to someone anonymously now by calling (866) 331-9474 or texting “loveis” to 77054. Remember, getting help and getting out of an abusive relationship isn’t just something that happens on the big screen.

For more resources, visit Break the Cycle or take action below to take a stand this month against violence against women.

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