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BEND, OR -- Domestic violence activists across the country are speaking out against the blockbuster film, 50 Shades of Grey, opening nationwide on Friday.  Bend-based Saving Grace is not calling for a boycott.  However, Lauren Biskind with Saving Grace hopes movie-goers are aware of the subject-matter.  "One of the main concerns with the relationship that’s depicted in the books and in the movie, is there’s a major power and control issue that goes on. That’s what causes a lot of unhealthy relationships and can lead to abuse is that conflict matter of someone having that power and control over them," she tells KBND News.  "Often times, that’s when we see violence really escalate."  Biskind says some of the film's scenes could trigger strong emotions, especially for abuse survivors.  "More than anything, just really being aware of the subject nature and knowing that this could be an unpleasant experience for many people and especially those that have been through similar situations, themselves."

 

She says, especially for parents, the hype over "50 Shades" could provide a good excuse to have a conversation about domestic violence.  "Even before 50 Shades of Grey came out, there are lots in the media that portray unhealthy relationships. Our job is really to continue raising that awareness and continuing to educate folks on what a healthy relationship looks like, and why it’s so important to treat one another with respect.  And to be a part of a healthy relationship, and not feel like when you’re in that type of [abusive] relationship that it is ok, or that it is normal, because it’s not."

 

A grassroots online campaign to boycott the movie has gained international attention.  50 Dollars Not 50 Shades encourages people to take the money they would otherwise spend on the movie and donate it instead to a local domestic abuse shelter.  50 Shades of Grey opens in Bend, Friday. 

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