Oscar Pistorious, 26, a Paralympian and Olympian and inspiration to athletes around the world, was arrested today — Valentine’s Day — and charged with murdering his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp.
Police responded to a 3 a.m. call about gunshots in Pistorius’ upscale neighborhood of Silver Woods in Pretoria, South Africa, where Steenkamp, 30, was found dead with four bullet wounds. A police spokesperson told The New York Times that police had previously responded “allegations of a domestic nature” at Pistorius’ home. Police recovered a 9mm pistol from the scene.
After the jump, nine things to know about Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius.
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If you’re not into the commercial cutesiness of Valentine’s Day, there’s an alternate, empowering holiday to celebrate on February 14th: V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls. ”The Vagina Monologues” playwright Eve Ensler created V-Day, which is celebrated each year on Valentine’s Day as the play is staged around the world to raise money for local rape crisis centers.
This year, V-Day also marks the grand finale of Ensler’s year long One Billion Rising campaign. The One Billion Rising name and collective goal derives from a statistic that one in three women will suffer abuse or rape in their lifetime; out of the seven billion people populating the world, that means roughly one billion women will be victims. Keep reading »
Nope, this is not a headline from Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. People really did put to death a woman accused of being a witch in 2013. A town in Papua New Guinea, which is in the South Pacific Islands, publicly tortured and then murdered a 20-year-old woman by setting her on fire in a public square. The government and local police condemned this act of violence against women, but that didn’t stop it from happening: the young mother had been accused of sorcery by the family of a six-year-old child who had recently died and townspeople took matters into their own hands. The details of how she was killed are grisly and gross and I won’t recap them here. Alas, the embassy in Papua New Guinea has called for a closer look into gender-based violence and police are pursuing the as-many-as-50-suspects who had a hand in putting the young mom to death. This barbarity is frankly disgusting. [ABC News]
Well, here’s an offensive and insensitive comment about rape victims that truly takes the cake.
An Indonesian judge who is a candidate for the Indonesian Supreme Court was asked whether the death penalty was a fitting punishment for rape. Here is how Muhammad Daming Sanusi answered the question, according to CNN:
“Consideration needs to be taken thoroughly for the imposition of death penalty for a rapist because in a rape case both the rapist and the victim enjoy it.”
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“I was saddened and I was sickened. I literally felt nauseous. I’m from India and while [the attack] didn’t surprise me, it disgusted me … And it reminded me, it brought back to me all of those feelings of when I was walking in Delhi. I used to ride the bus in India to school and I hated it. I hated going on a crowded bus because they would always pinch you or grab you and, you know, when you’re a teenager … I went to school for some years in India and it was terrible …
There is no actual word for rape. The closest word [in Hindi, India's predominant language] is I guess ‘lootna,’ which kind of means to take someone’s honour away. But to say that because a woman has been violated she no longer has her chastity or her honour is missing the point. Therein lies the problem.”
– “Top Chef”‘s Padma Lakshmi, who is Indian-American, responds to the death of Jyoti Singh Pandey, a 23-year-old student in India who was gang raped with a metal rod and later from her injuries. Singh Pandey’s death was followed by another gang rape of a 29-year-old woman just this past weekend. I did not know until reading this quote from Padma that there was no actual word in Hindi for “rape,” which, as she pointed out, explains a lot. [Daily Chilli]
Just weeks after the death of a 23-year-old woman named Jyoti Singh Pandey, who was brutally gang raped on a bus — assaulted with a metal rod which required the removal of her intestines — another woman has been gang raped in India. Police say a 29-year-old woman was gang raped on Friday night by seven men, including a bus driver who drove past her stop, took her to a deserted area, and attacked her. Keep reading »
A 17-year-old girl in India committed suicide by drinking poison on Wednesday, following a gang rape by at least three men back in November. The teen named the three alleged rapists, who have since been arrested by police, in her suicide note and blamed them for causing her death.
According to CNN, the girl was allegedly gang raped on November 13, during the Hindu festival of Diwali. According to her family, police did not register a formal complaint until two weeks later and pressured the girl not to press charges. Two officers involved in the case have since been fired, while a third has been suspended, over the mishandling. Keep reading »