A 21-year-old woman named Grace Millane was murdered the day before her birthday by a man whose name is being protected by New Zealand law. Though he was convicted, no one knows who he is—so, instead, they’re picking over Millane’s life and sexual history as though she is responsible for her own death.
Millane was on BDSM dating sites and had experimented with choking in the bedroom during sex in the past. This has been made much of in the press, despite many people experienced with BDSM saying that accidentally choking someone to death is not something that really happens.
Grace Millane was member of BDSM dating sites, court hears https://t.co/uxKWWChJzn
— Evening Standard (@EveningStandard) November 19, 2019
Such a solid point. Blame is so frequently put on a victim who is confident and usually in control of their situations, especially women. When strong men are victims, the perpetrator is deemed more fearful.
— David Allison (@davidallison76) November 20, 2019
During the trial, the defense attorneys tried to say that the 27-year-old man she went home with from Tinder killed Millane by accident. However, he purchased a suitcase, put her body into it, and buried it in a shallow grave. He also tried to set up another date on Tinder while laying next to Millane’s dead body, according to the Guardian, and was caught lying because of CCTV recordings showing his movement around the city.
He was ultimately convicted, but the story has sparked a debate about how victim-blaming is being used to smear Millane while her killer remains unknown.
What’s so infuriating is that her MURDERER is allowed more anonymity and privacy than Grace currently. His identity is hidden but her sexual preferences are being revealed in court, to the public and to her family. Why in fucks name is he being shown more respect?? #GraceMillane
— victoria moss (@vickomoss) November 19, 2019
If I’m ever murdered by someone I’m having sex with, I’d like it on record that I will not have consented to being choked so hard that I DIE. You know, just in case lawyers and media try to excuse my death because I once bought some handcuffs from Ann Summers #GraceMillane
— Amy 🕯 (@amyalexia) November 20, 2019
I have seen Grace’s death be attributed to: the fact she was backpacking, the fact she was drinking, the fact she was on Tinder, what she liked to do during sex, her being “naïve” (she was 21!), and more. As though her own murder is, somehow, her fault.https://t.co/6IBwlATdil
— Jenny Hollander (@_JennyHollander) November 21, 2019
It’s so disgusting (yet predictable) that Grace Millane’s entire sex life has been broadcasted to the world but her killer has ALL PERSONAL INFO protected including his name. He can buy a suitcase for her body, bury it and bleach his flat yet her death is blamed on BDSM?
— lydia ♈︎ (@lydtweed) November 20, 2019
Those bringing up Grace Millane’s sex life are reinforcing the fact that women will always be at fault, even for their own death. The poor girl was murdered and the news is filled with graphic discussions of what she liked in bed? Are you fucking kidding?
— Kayleigh Ann (@ThatFurf) November 19, 2019
The coverage in the media has been pretty egregious, implying that a 21-year-old who likes to party and have consensual rough sex deserved what happened:
— Angela Cuming (@AngelaCuming) November 22, 2019
Grace Millane’s trial makes me so angry. Her whole life is on trial. She is being blamed for her own death. “Rough sex gone wrong” has become an legitimate defense that is seeing men get away with murder. Grace and her family deserve better. Women deserve better. #GraceMillane
— Sophie Martyn (@sophmartyn) November 21, 2019
Disappointing to see the Grace Millane story covered in an insensitive, victim-blaming manner by numerous publications.
While journos don’t decide what evidence is heard in such cases – when it comes to framing, tone, and style, a lot need to do (much) better.
— Dominic Penna (@DominicPenna) November 21, 2019
While it’s a relief that Millane has received some justice in the courts, the way her death has been treated by the public shows how much further there is to go when it comes to how a woman’s life is valued.