February 8, 2018

Abuse in 50 Shades Freed Fuels #MeToo Culture

The Fifty Shades franchise is advertised as an erotic romance, but in reality it is a story of sexual violence.

Fifty Shades Freed, irresponsibly and dangerously legitimizes sexual violence against women and encourages women to accept this type of abuse as normal or even desirable.

If we are ready to transform how our culture treats women — from exploitative to empowering — we need to stop making and watching films like Fifty Shades Freed that glamorize sexual violence against women.

It is entirely hypocritical that this film is coming out amid the momentum of Hollywood support for the #MeToo campaign. This story sends a message that an abusive relationship can eventually turn into a loving one and suggests money and prestige permit a person to sexually exploit people at will.

Fifty Shades Freed condones or outright encourages the physical and psychological torture many women cannot escape from. The Domestic Violence Hotline reports more than half of female victims of rape identified their intimate partner as the offender. Women like Anastasia don’t have ‘happily ever afters,’ they suffer at the tyrannical hand of their abuser.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, along with other organizations like Culture Reframed, the London Abused Women’s Centre, and Collective Shout have opposed the franchise from the start. In an effort to oppose the film’s release,  these groups have conducted a joint 50 Dollars not 50 Shades campaign. Instead of buying a ticket to Fifty Shades, donate 50 dollars to a women’s organization and help stop abuse.

Here are 5 actions that you can take to protest this film. 

Dawn Hawkins

Chief Executive Officer

Dawn Hawkins is CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, the leading organization exposing the connections between all forms of sexual exploitation, including sex trafficking, prostitution, pornography, and child sexual abuse. Dawn’s energy, creativity and mobilization skills are deployed to build a world free from sexual violence, with freedom and human dignity for all.

Dawn is deeply committed to bipartisan political solutions at the federal and state level. Her issue expertise, visionary initiatives, and innovative strategy have led to groundbreaking change in the legislative arena and in multimillion-dollar corporate policies.

Dawn has been instrumental in re-imaging the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. She has centered the need to address buyer demand for commercial sex, called out corporate entities facilitating exploitation through the annual Dirty Dozen List, fostered an international movement, and constantly: advocates for survivors. Her work has sparked change at Google, Hilton Worldwide, Comcast, Walmart, the Department of Defense, Instagram, TikTok, and other influential firms. Dawn has appeared on many television programs, including CNN, Fox & Friends, and Good Morning America. She regularly authors articles and speaks around the country addressing the public health harms of pornography, curbing demand for sex trafficking, protecting children and families in our digital world, and more.

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