Day One is an organization dedicated to reducing the prevalence of sexual abuse and violence as well as supporting and advocating for those affected by it.
The film opens with an intentionally clichéd love at first sight romance. The two main characters quickly fall for each other, set to the classic song “Walkin’ on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves. As the film progresses, however, the viewer may begin to notice some warning signs—the man becomes more controlling and possessive, keeping tabs on the clothes she wears, the food she eats, and the people she associates with. This causes some of his earlier behavior to be re-evaluated, like his invasive selfie on her phone, or showing up uninvited at her front door. The signs are subtle at first, until it’s too late. By the end, the sweet, happy vibe of the song takes on a more ironic, dark twist.
The film is meant to highlight the fact that not all abuse is physical. Emotional and verbal abuse is often even more insidious and difficult to separate from devotion, which is succinctly captured in the film’s final line: don’t confuse love and abuse.
Day One debuted the animation in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, when love and relationships are top of mind. The primary audience for the piece is kids age 16-19, as 1 in 3 teens report experiencing some kind of abuse in their romantic relationships.