10/03/2014 12:18 EDT | Updated 12/03/2014 05:59 EST

Maroon 5's 'Animals' video condemned by sex assault group

Maroon 5's new "Animals" video is being blasted by a sexual assault support group for trivializing serious crimes against women.

The video released Monday features Maroon 5​ frontman Adam Levine as an obsessed butcher.

He sings "Baby, I'm preying on you tonight/Hunt you down eat you alive/Just like animals," while stalking a young woman (played by his real-life wife Behati Prinsloo).

The twisted cat and mouse theme is clear when the chorus hits and a blood-covered Levine begins fondling animal carcasses in a meat locker while singing "Maybe you think that you can hide/I can smell your scent from miles."

'A dangerous depiction'

The Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), a U.S. anti-sexual violence organization, slammed the video, calling it "a dangerous depiction of a stalker's fantasy."

"No one should ever confuse the criminal act of stalking with romance," said Katherine Hull Fliflet, RAINN's vice-president of communications in a statement to CBC News on Friday.

"The trivialization of these serious crimes, like stalking, should have no place in the entertainment industry."

The sentiment was echoed by fans who took to Twitter to express their outrage.

While some fans labelled the video "disgusting" and "appalling" and called for it to be pulled from rotation, others defended Maroon 5's use of graphic and sexually violent images as artistic expression.

- On mobile? Read some Twitter reaction here, here and here

WARNING: The following video contains images of a violent and sexual nature

Stalker songs

The backlash over the Maroon 5 video comes three months after Robin Thicke's "Paula" triggered similar outrage.

The video, released by the recently separated singer, depicted him stalking and then apparently drowning his estranged wife.

In the video, Thicke seems to suggest he'd kill himself if his wife refused to see him, with the text "Can I come and see you?" flashing on screen, as Thicke mimed firing a gun at his temple.

From Maroon 5's Animals and Robin Thicke's Paula, to Blondie's One Way or Another and the Police's Every Breath You Take, artists are frequently making music about obsessive, unhealthy relationships.

Sting himself admitted in an often-quoted 1983 interview with New Musical Express that the Police song he wrote is "a nasty little song, really rather evil. It's about jealousy and surveillance and ownership." 

Getting help

For more information on the crime of stalking, or to get resources on familial and relationship violence, see the RCMP's criminal harassment web page.

In Canada, women who feel they are the victims of violence, including stalking, can contact the Assaulted Women's Helpline 1-866-863-0511.