Promoters of the movie Fifty Shades Darker, now in cinemas across Australia, are trivialising the damage done by domestic violence, warns the Australian Christian Lobby.

With a woman per week dying in Australia as a result of domestic violence, ACL today called for movie goers to boycott the film because of its glorification of sexual violence against women.

ACL spokesperson for the dignity of women, Wendy Francis, said marketing Fifty Shades Darker as a romantic experience, especially to be watched on Valentine’s Day, undermines community efforts to counter domestic violence.

“As a community we are working to fight domestic violence. It doesn’t make sense that we have a major film in our cinemas that promotes the violent abuse of women,” Ms Francis said.

“It is not cool to watch a movie about an abusive and sadistic man’s domination of a woman who he is obsessed with.

“No young girl should aspire to this type of relationship and it should not be presented in entertainment culture as acceptable.

“Unfortunately, the reality of this situation is all too true for thousands of women in abusive relationships, and it’s not romantic. It is frightening.

“In the latest death from domestic violence, Australians mourned the death of Gold Coast mother, Teresa Bradford, killed by her estranged husband in early February.

“Teresa joined a tragic list of five women killed by violence in Australia this year.

“In 2016, 71 women were taken too soon through domestic violence.

“That’s somebody’s daughter, somebody’s mother, somebody who deserves love and respect.

“Films like Fifty Shades Darker try to normalise sexual violence and perpetrate a lie that ‘every fairy tale has a dark side’,” Ms Francis said

The movie may be based on a fictional story but the message it sells has dire consequences for the normalisation of violence against women and girls, and it paints a very damaging picture of masculinity.

“Humiliation and domination should never be glorified as if it’s some sort of romantic fairy tale. Violence is never romantic. Abuse is not sexy.

“Financial gain for the movie theatres and those selling the merchandise should never replace their moral conscience.

“Shame on all who make money from this sexist, violent rubbish.”

The Australian Christian Lobby is calling Australian to sign a pledge to boycott Fifty Shades Darker. Since launching the campaign last week, more than 7,000 have signed the pledge.

ENDS