Australian Police Victim Blaming in Teen’s Death

18 -year-old Nona Belomesoff was in contact with a man over Facebook who claimed to work for an animal welfare group and offered her the opportunity to pursue her dream job, rescuing injured animals. He used this as a pretense to eventually get her to come on a camping trip with him on which they were supposed to look for an help injured animals. Instead, he murdered her.

Unfortunately, all the police seem to have to say on the matter is that “the case reinforces the need for vigilance when using Facebook” and that “the case was a reminder to young people about the dangers of trusting strangers on social networking sites.”

Making women responsible for avoiding assault and murder will never be the solution to the violence women endure because of their gender. What the detectives should be saying is that this case reinforces the need to work against rape culture and patriarchy. That this case is a reminder to everyone to call our friends out on sexism and disrespect. That it’s a reminder to men not to lure women on the internet or through other means. If you are going to tell a woman to avoid being lured, it is your responsibility to also tell a man not to lure her.

What this murder should do for all of us is give us the opportunity to show how infuriated we are by a system in which an 18 year old woman is murdered for pursuing her dreams – a fate which she never would have met had she been male.

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