“When women are murdered in their own homes by their own partners or ex-partners, people say “Why didn’t she just leave?”
When women are thrown from balconies or stabbed to death with scissors in the street, people say “Why didn’t she realise he would do that?
When a woman is murdered walking home from a night out, people say “Why was she walking alone at night?”
When a woman is murdered in her own van, people say “Why was she working as a prostitute?”
When a woman is murdered running through a park in broad daylight, people say “Women shouldn’t be on their own in parks.”
Now that a woman has been murdered at her own workplace doing the normal, everyday task of getting her school class ready for another teacher, what will people say? That women can’t be at work in the middle of the day on their own? That women have to be chaperoned everywhere they go?
When we police women’s behaviour by telling them where they may go and what they are permitted to do, we are actually making them sub-human. A different species – one that has to be protected, controlled, dictated to, criticised, and then (often) vilified, even in death, for having the audacity to be murdered.
Not. Real. People.
This has been the response of one group of Australian women on social media, following the news that Stephanie Scott was murdered by a male cleaner from her workplace.
Ms Scott, who was meant to be getting married tomorrow to Aaron Leeson-Woolley, was reported missing last Sunday after she went to her workplace at Leeton High School to prepare lessons for the teacher who would replace her when she was to be on her honeymoon.
The bride-to-be was reportedly last seen on Sunday at 11am on Myrtle St at the school premises and was not heard from thereafter. Friends and family of the 26-year-old began the search into the mysterious disappearance of Ms Scott , who had been planning her wedding for the last 12 months, but sadly, the investigation ended in tragedy.
Police discovered Ms Scott’s red car dumped in a field on Thursday and found traces of blood, their investigation led to the arrest of 24 year-old Vincent Stanford, the school’s cleaner. It is alleged that some time between 11am and 7.20pm on Sunday, Mr Stanford confronted Ms Scott and killed her before dumping her body. However, a NSW Police spokeswoman confirmed today that Ms Scott’s body still had not been found. Images of what appeared to be a burnt out body were found on Mr Stanford’s phone.
According to his employers, Colin Joss & Co cleaning division, Mr Stanford was not supposed to be working at the school on that day, but were still trying to clarify whether he had keys to the school.
Public outrage has seen shocked Australians across the country sharing their condolences and thoughts about the tragic death of Ms Scott online. The group Rest in Peace Stephanie Scott, which was set up yesterday in the wake of the news, has over 25,000 followers. “Australians are horrified by the murder of young schoolteacher Stephanie Scott. We call for a federal Royal Commission into the violent deaths of women,” the page states.
Do you agree that there needs to be a Royal Commission into violent deaths of women? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.