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‘It Takes Courage to Admit That You Have Been Abused’: ‘Days of Our Lives’ Star Jackée Harry Gets Real About Abusive Relationships and Removing the ‘Shame and Guilt’ of Leaving an Abuser

Jackeé Harry has a new film that she hopes will encourage people in abusive relationships to seek the help they deserve. “Every Breath She Takes” stars Tamala Jones, Tisha Campbell, Brian White, Lamon Archey, Brooklyn Sudano, and of course Harry. It premieres on Lifetime on March 25.

The film’s synopsis reads in part: “Jules Baker thinks her problems are over when her abusive husband Billy is killed after a struggle and fire that destroys their house….After a series of frightening events and the fact that she thinks she keeps seeing her dead husband, Jules believes she may be going crazy. Or is Billy actually still alive and coming for her, ready to destroy everything she’s re-built?”

2013 BET Experience - Fan Fest Outdoor Day 2
LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 29: Actress Jackee Harry at the Centric Pavilion during the 2013 BET Experience at L.A. LIVE on June 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Getty Images for BET)

While Harry does not portray the lead character, Jules, she has experience bringing a similar storyline to life as Paulina Price on “Days of Our Lives.” While promoting the upcoming film, she said even the slightest hint that she might be harmed puts an immediate end to any relationship.

In an Instagram post, she shared a snippet of an interview, where she spoke about real-life issue. In the caption, she wrote that the film “shows the lengths some abusers will go through to maintain a hold over somebody and how important trust and communication can be to getting that somebody out of a bad situation.”

“I’m a very strong woman,” she noted. “Even if you look at me like you’re gon’ to hit me, it’s over. You know, I walk out the door.” The “227” alum reflected on how her actions, or inaction, impact the ones she loves most. “I wanna raise my, you know, kids and grandkids to have that strength,” Harry said.

She also acknowledged that leaving an abusive partner is no small feat. “It takes courage to admit that you have been abused,” the actress said.

She continued, “You know, a lot of people are ashamed of it, and that’s what we have to get rid of: the shame and the guilt that you stayed in a relationship. ’Cause you can love somebody that abuses you, and that’s at the heart of it as well.”

As it pertains to women, she recognized that “wanting love, wanting to nurture our kids, our man, and our careers” is a responsibility that many carry. Admittedly, having it all — a successful career, family, and a loving partner— was an unattainable dream that women found themselves pursuing.

“I used to think that women couldn’t do it all, and I’m just learning that we can,” she said. “But it takes extra effort, and the extra effort is to educate your man or your woman—’I don’t want to be treated this way, and if you’re going to continue, let’s get some help.’”

The film premieres on March 25.

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