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The young girl who became just a ‘thing’ in death

A crowdfunding page raised more than $15,000 for Ms Beilby’s funeral, with her family pledging the funds to support vulnerable teenagers.

Photo: GoFundMe

There was no nationwide vigil, attended by tens of thousands of people, for Larissa Beilby. There was no national outcry or dozens of feminist opinion pieces about her murder. Her death made headlines all over the country, but it wasn’t called the “Larissa Beilby murder”. She was “the barrel murder” and referred to as a “body in the barrel”.

A 16-year-old girl is dead and in death, she became a thing, not a person.

At least one woman is killed in Australia every week. Three women were killed just this weekend, three men are in police custody and none of them are likely to attract the universal grief we saw in response to the horrific murders of Jill Meagher and Eurydice Dixon. The reason for this seems to be encapsulated in one phrase common to all those other murders: “the alleged male killer was known to the victim”.

www.crimefiles.net

It’s not that people don’t care about women who are killed by men who are “known to them”. Obviously, they do. There are thousands of people in Australia dedicating their lives to helping women hurt by men “known to them”. But the public response is very different when a woman is killed by a man she didn’t know. We have a visceral reaction when the monster myth comes to fruition and a woman is taken off the street by a stranger. This is the fear everyone understands, and our reactions are both very simple and very complex.

Simple, because it’s an immediately identifiable fear. The monster on the street has no emotional complexities. He’s the antagonist of countless television shows and movies, so we instantly recognise him as an object of terror. He has no family or friends in common with the victim and no history with her to humanise him. He is a safe object of revulsion for other men because almost all of them do firmly and truthfully say they couldn’t even ever comprehend doing such a thing.

It’s also simple because there appears to be an easy way to prevent it. If we don’t walk home alone at night, we’ll be safe. If men ask their wives, sisters, daughters and girlfriends to call them for a lift or find an escort home, they’ll be safe. The monster in the dark is terrifying but avoidable.

The complexity comes from the world women have been walking through their entire lives, where such monsters are not avoidable.

I remember catching an almost empty tram home after a late practice at school one night. A man got on, came over and sat directly opposite me and stared at me. He didn’t say anything or do anything, he just sat too close. And stared. I was too scared to get off the tram in case he followed me and too scared to stay on the tram under that malevolent gaze. Eventually, I couldn’t cope and started to cry. He laughed softly and got off at the next stop. I was miles from home and ended up staying on the tram until it got to the terminus and came all the way back to my stop. I was 13 years old.

What I know now is that the man on the tram wasn’t staring at me. He was staring at my fear. Rubbing himself against the raw power of reducing a girl-child to shivering tears with nothing more than a mere look.

After Eurydice’s murder, I sat with a group of people in their 30s and 40s, watching men, good men, struggling to understand as women told them stories like this. Told them it wasn’t just one terrifying incident but a lifetime of them. Men leering on trams and trains, groping in bars, cafes and workplaces.

Threatening responses to placatory attempts to say no to unwanted conversations. Taxi drivers, bar staff, police, tram conductors, men driving by in cars, waiting at bus stops, standing in ticket queues, walking their dogs, standing outside for a cigarette. All the women I was listening to had not just one but dozens of stories and all of them commenced before they were women. Men creating and staring at their fear. They were 11,12,13 years old the first time it happened. Women of colour, women with disabilities, women who are, as Hannah Gadsby said with such devastating truth, the “not normals” had even more gut-wrenching reminders of all the reasons they have to be afraid.

This is the fear and the lived experience of being a woman in the world and it’s not just those women, it’s about all women. Nearly nine out of ten Australian women report their first experience of street harassment occurred before they were 17 years old. Almost 70 per cent say it happened before they were 15 and almost three quarters have had one or more men follow them in a fashion that made them feel unsafe.

We can tell women their fears are irrational, that they are far more likely to be killed by a man “known to them” than a stranger on the street, that they are 73 times more likely to die in a car accident than to be killed by a man they don’t know and NOT ALL MEN and stop demonising men because that just makes things worse and maybe all these things are true but they are utterly meaningless in the face of fears deliberately created and nurtured by men who stride unchecked through our world.

What happened to Larissa Beilby, allegedly at the hands of a man known well to her, doesn’t strike sparks off the same fears as what happened to Eurydice Dixon or Jill Meagher.

Larissa Beilby’s Murder

Even if some of the men we know may hurt us, most of them will not. We don’t see the reflection of the men who kill women they know in the eyes of every man we work with or drink with or watch football with or keep company with.

Eurydice and Jill’s murders were quite different. They felt like the inevitable reality of all those implied & inferred threats, which why our reaction was so visceral.

Henry Sapiecha

Nihad told of the brutality she had endured when she was kidnapped by Islamic State and sold into sexual slavery.HER STORY.

‘Australia will be my first home and my last home’: Nihad’s new life begins

London: Twelve months ago Nihad Barakat al-Awsi’s eyes were heavy with sadness.

Sharing her story with Fairfax Media, Nihad told of the brutality she had endured when she was kidnapped by Islamic State and sold into sexual slavery.  She has never again seen the baby boy, Issa, she gave birth to at just 15, and probably never will. She spoke of a sadness so deep she feared the trauma would be ever present in her mind.

Today, Nihad’s face is a happier picture. Three weeks ago she received a call that would change her life. Her application for Australia’s protection & residency had been accepted.

“I will go and I will change everything; I will start a new life there. I will remove it all from my mind,” the 19-year old said from Iraq.

Nihad Barakat al-Awsi will start a new life in Australia.

Later this week, Nihad – one of 18 children – will board a flight to Australia with two brothers and a sister, ready to close the door on their grossly troubled Iraqi lives. It will be a day of mixed emotions & feelings because it means saying goodbye to her parents, who want to stay in Iraq with the remaining family members.

Two of her brothers were forced into Islamic State training camps, while two sisters and another brother were murdered in the terror group’s attempted genocide of the Yazidis.

But Nihad is looking forward to her new life. She dreams of speaking English fluently and becoming a teacher.

“When I reach Australia I just want to learn English and become a teacher,” she said. ”This is the only purpose I have – to become a teacher.”

‘I will go and I will change everything. I will start a new life there.’

Liberal senator Zed Seselja, who met Nihad in London last year while serving as the assistant minister for social services and multicultural affairs, said there was “absolutely no doubt” Nihad would achieve her dreams in Australia,  and be welcomed & resettled by her new community.

“Like all refugees who are resettled in Australia, Nihad and her siblings will receive 500 hours of intensive English language lessons and can apply for more if needed, so she’ll have a great opportunity to pick up English,” he said.

He said refugees are offered housing assistance and help to enrol in education or training courses or look for work. They also receive a basic care or welcome package when they arrive into Australia.

Senator Seselja said only a tiny minority would begrudge the taxpayer-funded services provided to those fleeing harm and persecution.

“We’ve resettled a few hundred Yazidis and several thousand from Iraq and Syria in the last few years,” he said. “Most people I speak to want Australia to be a generous nation and are welcoming of refugees.”

Senator Seselja said Australia also offered support to victims of trauma and torture and this would be provided in Nihad’s case.

Since her escape from Islamic State, Nihad has received support from doctors and psychologists in Iraq. Her case inspired the AMAR Foundation, a London-based charity, to set up its Escaping Darkness program, which funds psychological support services for many thousands of Yazidi women who were traded as sex slaves by Islamic State.

Australia accepted 17,555 refugees in 2015-16 under the humanitarian program, with the highest number (4358) from Iraq. This year Australia will accept 18,750 people fleeing persecution in their country.

When Nihad arrives she will live in Toowoomba, which is home to quite a sizeable Yazidi community, including some of Nihad’s relatives. Nihad is looking forward to seeing her relatives again but also wants to become part of the Australian community.

“I don’t want to come just to see the Yazidis; I want to change my life, I want to change everything,” she said. “Australia will become my first home and my last one.”

Senator Seselja said Nihad’s desires to live an Australian life was common.

“I’ve seen that from so many people who come, not just refugees but from migrants, and it’s wonderful that they can come and want to integrate,” he said. ”I think that’s a great attitude to bring with them.”

But as Nihad looks forward to embracing life in Queensland, she will not entirely close the door on Iraq and the horror she has lived from that August day in 2014 when a cry rang out that dramatically changed her life: “IS are coming.”

About 10,000 Yazidis are estimated to have been slaughtered or kidnapped in the few days that followed. Thousands have never been seen or heard of again. Sinjar is now a rubble and nearly 50 mass graves have been uncovered.

“When I go to Australia I wish to help my people in Iraq because they need us,” she said.

Henry Sapiecha

Female Indian rape victim dies after 42 years in coma

Aruna Shanbaug, a nurse, was left bedridden after she was raped at a hospital image www.goodgirlsgo

Aruna Shanbaug, a nurse, was left bedridden after she was raped at a hospital.

Delhi: A nurse has died after 42 years in a coma following a brutal rape, in a case that led India to ease some restrictions on euthanasia.

Aruna Shanbaug suffered brain damage and had been in a vegetative state in a Mumbai hospital since being strangled with a dog chain and sexually assaulted by a hospital worker in 1973.

The 66-year-old Shanbaug had suffered a bout of pneumonia in recent days and was on a ventilator, officials at King Edward Hospital in Mumbai told the Press Trust of India news agency.
Aruna Shanbaug in a photo submitted as part of her CV.

Aruna Shanbaug in a photo submitted as part of her CV. Photo: Supplied

Shanbaug was attacked by a ward boy in the basement of the hospital where she was discovered 11 hours later, blind and suffering from a severe brain stem injury.
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Left bedridden, she spent more than four decades being cared for by a team of doctors and nurses at the hospital.

Her attacker was freed after a seven-year jail sentence.

“Her actual death happened in 1973 (the date of the attack). Now what has happened is her legal death,” her friend and journalist Pinki Virani told Zee News TV channel.

Aruna Shanbaug in a photo submitted as part of her CV.image www.goodgirlsgo

“Our Aruna has given our country a big thing in the form of a law on passive euthanasia,” Virani said.

Shanbaug’s plight became a focal point of debate on euthanasia in India after Virani appealed to India’s top court in 1999 to allow her to die with dignity.

Indian laws do not permit euthanasia or self-starvation to the point of death.

But in 2011 the Supreme Court decided that life support could be legally removed for some terminally ill patients in a landmark ruling that allowed “passive euthanasia” for the first time.

The court said withdrawing life support could be allowed in exceptional circumstances, provided the request was from family and supervised by doctors and the courts.

The supervision was required to prevent “unscrupulous” family members attempting to kill off wealthy relatives, the Supreme Court had said.

The court however rejected Virani’s request to stop Shanbaug being force-fed on the grounds that she was not legally eligible to make the demand on Shanbaug’s behalf.

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Henry Sapiecha

Masa Vukotic murder: Travelling alone isn’t women’s biggest safety risk

Local residents congregate near where Masa Vukotic was killed.

Local residents congregate near where Masa Vukotic was killed.

Photo: Meredith O’Shea

On Tuesday evening at around 6:50pm, a man approached and stabbed to death Masa Vukotic while she was out walking in the Koonung Creek Linear Reserve. The 17- year-old Canturbury Secondary School student was found shortly after the attack at the base of a footbridge in the reserve. A man has since surrendered himself to police in connection with the murder.

But despite the fact that the fault for this alleged murder remains with the perpetrator alone, the tendency for public discussion to muse on the behaviour of victims has reared its ugly head once more. In an interview with ABC radio yesterday, Detective Inspector Mick Hughes advised people – “particularly females” – to avoid being alone in parks because of a need to “remain vigilant”. Inspector Hughes later qualified this statement by claiming he meant for women (sorry, “females”) to walk together, evidently as a means of safeguarding themselves against the violent actions of dangerous men. He said, “But if you’re by yourself you need to be aware of your circumstances and take reasonable precautions. I think it’s a travesty that we have to do that, we should be able to walk anywhere at any time, but reality says that we can’t.”

I would tell you how insulting it is to be reminded of what “reality” is by a male authority figure, but if you’re a woman reading this then you’re probably already pounding your head in frustration. The fact is, Vukotic walked this route regularly and Tuesday night was no different. Indeed, all over the country, women walk and run and cycle through parks and manage to emerge unscathed from the experience. Nor are the “reasonable precautions” Inspector Hughes refers to mysteries to us – they are the boring, unconsciously held ticks and twitches that underpin how we have learned to navigate our way through a world that considers our autonomy and rights as human beings to be an unnecessary afterthought.

Masa Vukotic.

Masa Vukotic. Photo: Facebook

Much as family recipes are passed down through generations, so too are the tools women have crafted to defend themselves in a hostile environment. We know how to carry our keys in such a way that they might function as a weapon while walking to our cars or front doors. We indulge in real or fake conversations on our phone in the hopes that the flimsy connection might ward off potential predators. Some of us smoke, having once heard that the sight of it reduces the projected impression of vulnerability.

Women do these things, and still we are attacked, beaten, raped. Murdered.

What further precautions must we take? Perhaps we could fuse girls together when they become old enough to venture outside by themselves, ensuring they’re always ‘in company’ and thus never able to succumb to the stupidity of imagining they might be entitled to spend a single moment just existing without worrying about how others might respond to that. Maybe we should pass a law that says women can only travel outside the home when accompanied by a male relative. Would it make sense to just accept defeat from the outset, and ban women from leaving their homes altogether?

But then, that doesn’t work either. Because for the majority of girls and women, the biggest risk to their safety lies inside these supposed sanctuaries. For these women, the protective shield of a four walled home with locks on its doors isn’t a safe harbour for them but for their attackers. Does it matter less when it happens behind closed curtains, between people who have developed some kind of intimacy? Or does it just make it easier for the outside world to ignore it?

I think we all know the answer to that.

No, despite all this hand-wringing and concerned instruction, women are very well-versed in the things that pose a risk to our safety. Or rather, the one thing that poses the biggest risk.

Men.

This is the actual reality of the world that we live in, but apparently we’re not allowed to talk about it because it’s unfair and cruel and misandrist and mean. Don’t we know that the MAJORITY of men are good and decent people? How DARE we besmirch their names and reputations by discussing the demonstrable, evidence supported problem of male violence and its protracted, deliberate impact on women!

Instead, we must behave as if these ‘risks’ are unknown and unconnected – as if it is parks or dark streets or alleyways themselves that are killing women, as if danger simply falls out of the sky and snuffs out their lives, like a cartoon anvil or a piano or a house brought down in a tornado to land on a witch trespassing on land that was never hers to begin with.

For too long, women have been sold the lie that the world does not really belong to us. That we are merely guests, here on the provisional invitation of men who expect us to behave ourselves, speak when we’re spoken to and provide all the comforts and charm of a deferential dinner companion indebted somehow to the goodwill of the host. Our time as the docile, malleable maidens responsible for absorbing the impact of men’s choices ends right now.

Because here’s some “reality” for Inspector Hughes, and anyone inclined to agree with his advice, however well intentioned it might have been. Until we substantially address the toxicity of patriarchy, women will always be subjected to the aggression and hostility of men who are left to their own devices by a society unwilling to look at those patterns of male behaviour which lead to gendered violence. The repetition of history has demonstrated that if we want to decrease the risk of gendered violence used against women, we won’t do it by continuing to challenge and police women’s behaviour.

We can do it simply by changing men’s behaviour. That’s the reality. So let’s get started.

ooo

Henry Sapiecha

Girl Killers: Video Documentary on Girls Turned Killers

These are some stories of girls who turned killers as they grew and the video shows why 7 how they became killers.

An amazing insight into the minds & lives of these girls turned killers

HORROR VAMPIRE & WOMAN image www.goodgirlsgo.com

GO HERE FOR THE VIDEO ON GIRLS TURNED KILLERS www.crimefiles.net