There are a myriad ways NOT to be killed.
If you’re like 17 year-old Masa Vukotic, who was stabbed to death this week in suburban Doncaster, Melbourne, while taking a walk in a park in the early evening, less than a kilometre from her home, you may have not got the message: “Females Shouldn’t Be Alone in Parks”.
“I suggest to people, particularly females, they shouldn’t be alone in parks,” Victorian Homicide Squad Inspector, Mick Hughes told Fairfax newspapers. “I’m sorry to say that is the case.”
Victorian Minister for Women and Minister for Prevention of Family Violence, Fiona Richardson, later said that the community’s focus should be on stopping offenders, not the behaviour of victims.
“Detective Inspector Hughes, undoubtedly, has the best interest of women in mind and made comments on radio this morning out of care and concern for women who are all too often victims of crime,” she said.
“However, hearing a senior police officer say that as a woman, you are not safe going about your leisure activities or daily business, is a sad indictment on our society. The community conversation needs to be about stopping men from committing these terrible crimes in the first place, not just about women needing to protect themselves.”
Asked at a later press conference, after a man handed himself over to police in relation to Masa’s killing, Inspector Hughes refuted that police were victim-blaming by telling women not to walk alone.
“We’ve never actually said that,” he said.
He encouraged people to walk together. More specifically, that “females” walk together.
For women who may have missed the memo, JANE GILMORE has come up with a comprehensive list for all women and girls on how to prevent themselves from becoming victims of murder… Do pass it on.
How to not be killed:
Don’t go to parks because someone might kill you.
Don’t stay home, that’s where you are most likely to be killed.
Don’t catch public transport.
Don’t catch taxis or walk home or drive cars by yourself at night.
Don’t have a boyfriend or a husband because he is the most likely person to kill you.
Don’t go out without your boyfriend because you might get killed if you don’t have someone to protect you.
Don’t go out for a run by yourself.
Don’t stay home, you’ve got to burn those calories somehow.
Don’t be fat because then no one will care if someone kills you.
Don’t be pretty because that will definitely make someone want to kill you.
If you’re not pretty you should want to kill yourself.
Don’t laugh too loud or drink too much or dance too freely.
Don’t wear shorts or skimpy dresses.
Why are you covered up like that, are you Amish or something?
Don’t wear headscarf, hijabs or anything else that might identify you as a Muslim or Jew.
Don’t deny your heritage.
Why haven’t you disavowed people who we think will kill us?
We should kill you for that.
Don’t kiss any boys.
Don’t be a tease.
Don’t be a slut.
Don’t talk too much.
Don’t be boring.
Don’t answer back.
Don’t sit by yourself like that.
Give us a smile, love.
Don’t be too forward.
Don’t be too young, that makes you too vulnerable.
Don’t be too old.
Don’t have long hair, you’re too old.
Don’t show your face if it’s got wrinkles on it.
Don’t speak out.
Don’t take up too much space.
Don’t draw attention to yourself.
Why are you dressed like that?
Don’t get tattoos.
Don’t be a lesbian.
Don’t be transwoman.
Don’t be Aboriginal.
Don’t get married.
Why aren’t you married yet?
Don’t go out in public.
Don’t talk to boys.
Don’t wear too much make up, you look like a whore.
Why don’t you make some effort to look better?
Don’t have any hair on your body.
Don’t get rid of your body hair, why are you so vain?
Would it kill you to be nice?
Don’t go to nightclubs.
Don’t go to concerts.
Stay away from the mosh pit.
What did you think was going to happen if you go out dressed like that?
Don’t make him mad.
Don’t drink too much.
Always look behind you.
Make sure you watch where you’re going.
Why weren’t you more security conscious?
Don’t wear headphones.
Don’t run in shorts, that’s just asking for trouble.
Don’t talk to strangers.
Don’t go out.
Don’t stay home.
Don’t be female or you will be killed and you will have no one to blame but youself.
And men, as you were. Just carry on. This is not your problem.
*cover image via Facebook
*Jane Gilmore was the founding editor of The King’s Tribune. She is now a freelance writer and is tackling her first book.