Saturday, June 07, 2008

Death in the City

On the morning of the 29th May, the body of Moira Jones was found in Queen's Park on the south side of Glasgow. The following day, another woman, Eleni Patchou was found stabbed to death in the west end, as a result of a robbery at the restaurant where she worked. No link has been drawn between to two attacks.
A sentiment I heard expressed a few times by several people was that the woman in the park 'was probably African and/or a prostitute'. The area around Queen's Park does have a larger concentration of ethnic minority people, but why does that matter? Does it some how make it less of a crime if the victim had darker skin, or if she had to sell her body to make a living? And WHY did they assume she was a sex worker? There are prostitutes of all backgrounds (and sexes, but a male murder victim is never assumed to be a prostitute) all over the city, and yet I'd never heard this assumption made so soon after other attacks! Right away, before any information other than the sex of the victim had been released, people were making racist, classist and sexist assumptions and expressing them in a way as if such circumstances made this any less of the tragic and horrific crime that it was. Oh, and for the record? She was a white, UK-born sales consultant. What assumptions will people make with that information, I wonder?
No-one has been arrested in the case of Eleni Patchou, who was a trainee manager at the west-end restaurant. She was the last person left and was locking up after closing time when the attack occurred. No assumptions were made about her background. No-one was dismissive. Everyone was shocked, angered and saddened. Both investigations are ongoing. Neither of these women deserved their fate. I hope that the families of both victims receive justice and murdering bastards are found soon.

UPDATE: The GFN is holding a vigil to honour the memory of the female victims of violence in the city.

Eleni Pachou. Moira Jones. Michelle Reid. Jeannette Cooper. These are the names of four women killed in Glasgow so far this year. Some have already received more media footage than others - there may well be more names to add to this list, names that never reached the newspapers.

Last Thursday five woman were sexually assaulted in Glasgow in the space of an hour and a half - the Thursday before that, Moira Jones' body was found. The day after, Eleni Pachou.

The women of Glasgow - the women of the world - should not have to live in fear of men's violence.

We will be holding a vigil in George Square, at 6pm this Friday the 13th, to commemorate the lives of Eleni, Moira, Michelle, Jeannette, and all the women we've lost.

This will be a peaceful vigil with singing, flowers and candles. It will be a time to grieve for the women we've lost - but also a time to stand up, be counted, and let everyone know... we won't stand for this anymore. Violence against women must stop, and until our society changes, more women will die needlessly at the hands of men everyday.

We must let the city know that the women of this city are not and will not be victims. We invite men to attend this vigil and be bold about their refusal to participate in a culture then denigrates, objectifies and, ultimately, kills women.

Join us. Please forward this message, and invite your loved ones to attend with you.

In memory and in rage,

Glasgow Feminist Network x

1 comment:

  1. hmm, i didnt know that those five attacks where sexual attacks.
    btw, you might be interested in this, if you havent already read it: