Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Reeva Steenkamp, Pistorius, Evening Standard

This was my letter in today's London Evening Standard. Yesterday in South Africa a man was sentenced by a Judge to serve a sentence that is predicted to amount to around 10 months in prison followed by Community Service. Was his crime a minor burglary or persistent shop-lifting? Nope. He killed a woman. Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius on Valentine's Day in 2013. Statistically speaking, Steenkamp was one of three women killed by an intimate partner on Valentine's Day in the country. In South Africa, a woman is killed by domestic violence on average every eight hours. The rate of women killed in South Africa by their partners, is five times higher than the global average. According to a report (by Lydia Smith , International Business Times Sept 11 2014) the day after Reeva Steenkamp was killed, she was due to wear black in a "Black Friday" protest against South Africa's high number of rapes. The event was spurred by the gang rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl, who managed to identify her attacker, her ex-boyfriend, shortly before she died. Earlier this week a man called Kon Karapanagiotidis (@kon_K) tweeted ’57 women killed this year by men in Australia. No one killed by terrorists. When do we declare war against violence against women.' Precisely!

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