When England woman Natalie Collins first heard of the success of E.L. James’ novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” she was shocked as the book’s plot mirrored her own experiences with sexual abuse.
Soon after Collins married at age 17, her once-charming husband quickly became manipulative and controlling, isolating her from friends and family, reports ABC News. Collins was eventually raped while pregnant and was forced to deliver her baby three months early. The couple is now separated.
After living with a man who closely resembles the attributes of Christian Grey, Collins does not understand the sexy appeal of the character.
"The fact the books are presenting an abuser as desirable to millions of people across the globe concerned me so much I decided to develop a group to challenge it," Collins said.
The group, called 50 Shades of Domestic Abuse, highlights the book's romanticization of behaviors consistent with domestic abuse.
In a new study published in the Journal of Women's Health, researchers analyzed the novel's central relationship of Grey and Anastasia Steele and compared it to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for intimate partner violence. The conclusion: Steele is not a heroine but a victim.
“The authors of the study said they could identify explicit emotional abuse patterns, including Anastasia's responses to abuse — altered identity, yearning, entrapment and disempowerment — throughout the book. They also provided several situational examples of the emotional abuse and sexual violence Anastasia suffers,” reports ABC News.
"The book blatantly glamorizes violence against women," Bonomi said.
E.L. James addressed these concerns on Katie Couric's show on ABC last year.
"Everything that happens in [the book] is safe, sane and consensual," James said. " It's a very, very different thing to actually be in a domestic abusive relationship.
Collins fears the books presents abuse as normal and desirable, reports ABC News.
"At the end of book three, they say it all turned out all right in the end, but in reality, it never ends up all right," she said.
Source: ABC News