The much-anticipated release of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie and its novel series precursor struck chords of concern among women's health advocates. While the book sold over 100 million copies worldwide and has been heralded as an erotic romance novel that is sexually liberating, the nature of the protagonists' relationship is troubling because of its multiple aspects of domestic violence.
By relying solely on non-experts as sources of information, the media wittingly or unwittingly reinforces misconceptions about domestic homicides. Domestic homicides sometimes provide experts with the opportunity to call attention to the underlying realities -- but only when the media thinks to call us.
The protestors galvanized by Alsan's murder have been calling for tougher sentencing for perpetrators. In addition to these important steps, moving forward it will also be critical to have access to official data which provides an accurate account of the number of violent crimes committed against women.