No one wants to get bashed for sharing their opinion on a blog or waste their time in pointless debates about who or what is to blame for the current level of violence on our planet and when everyone has their guard up, it becomes even tougher to tackle a difficult topic. So, I thought maybe instead of channeling my inner linebacker it might be better to try an alternative method. Summoning the strength to keep writing about a topic that people would prefer not to be reminded of is a challenge.
I’m always up for a challenge.
On February 14th, Safe Haven, a movie based on the book by Nicholas Sparks, opens in theaters. From the trailer it appears to be a love story. The fact that it opens on Valentine’s Day and the lead actors are both hotties isn’t lost on guys willing to sit through a chick flick for a chance to make a love connection or some facsimile thereof.
Girls, this story is worth your attention.
Movies based on books rarely capture the level of intensity of a subject with the same depth as a book. It will be interesting to see if this movie treats the psychological trauma inflicted by a domineering husband with the attention it deserves. The tagline ‘trust your heart to keep you safe’ lends itself to the notion that there’s more to this love story than meets the eye, but what?
Domestic violence, that’s what.
I read the book. Yes, I admit I’m a sucker for Sparks. Mainly because his stories are set in North Carolina, but partly too because he uses the experiences of real people to create fiction that is some of the most popular chick lit on the market. The Notebook for instance was a story inspired by the lives of his wife’s grandparents.
The Notebook is a love story. Everyone loves a love story, but not all loves live happily ever after. Some end after years of domestic violence. Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner. It affects one in four women regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background.
Politics, pulpits, and pundits are not going to get the job done. The time for debate is over. What we need is cooperation, support, access to resources, intervention, advocacy, compassion and healing to break the cycle. So, why not do something, really do something?
If you have a resource that has worked for you or someone you know, please share it in the comments section. A good way to start is by sharing information about resources that work in your local area like a website or the number for an active helpline that someone can share or call for assistance.
Please only share information that you know is valid.
You might be saying, “Can’t people just Google that stuff if they want it?” The short answer is yes. The longer answer is, if you have knowledge or experience that can possibly help save a life, just share it. Otherwise go visit the Kardashian’s blog. Comments will be moderated for crap. So, bots and trolls take a hike or whatever it is you do when you’re not skunking up the place.
When I took a closer look at the story of Kim Lee, the American woman who gave domestic abuse a face and a voice in China, I saw what reality looks like for millions of women. Authorities too ready to look the other way, families too ashamed to offer support, society too distracted to care. Women too drained of their dignity reaching out for help. We cannot stand by and allow this to continue. If you write letters, that’s great.
If you stand shoulder to shoulder, that’s great.
If you believe it is time to say enough is enough, share these resources with someone who needs them. A neighbor, a co-worker, a sister, a daughter, a mother, a friend.
For more information or to get help, please call: at 1-800-799-7233
THE NATIONAL SEXUAL ASSAULT HOTLINE AT 1-800-656-4673
THE NATIONAL TEEN DATING ABUSE HOTLINE AT 1-866-331-9474
Here’s is a question. If Not Now, then when?