News that yet another young woman has allegedly been murdered by a man in New Zealand made for a sombre start to 2020.
Bella Te Pania was 34 years old. Media reports stated that she had been working on the street as a sex worker at the time of her death, and that the man who has been charged with her murder allegedly attacked her while she was out working.
Countless women have been murdered by violent men in New Zealand in recent years – though our shamefully high rate of violence against women is a trend that goes back much further.
Te Pania, along with all women who have died in this way, deserved to be safe.
Violence against women is endemic in our society and while campaigns such as #MeToo have shifted our societal discourse to some extent, the murder of a sex worker (and specifically women who work on the streets) often provokes a particularly insidious form of victim blaming.Continue reading Stop blaming sex workers for their murders