Selfies are narcissistic, often unnecessary and, now, apparently fatal.
A woman was murdered at the weekend, allegedly by her ex, after posting a selfie with her new boyfriend to Facebook.
A News Limited story – originally published under the title ‘Selfie that led to fatal stabbing’ – says police claim the selfie was the “catalyst” for the brutal stabbing in suburban Townsville.
Dane Andrew Pilcher, 36, has been charged with murdering his ex-girlfriend, 32-year-old Corinne Henderson.
The former soldier allegedly broke into her Idalia apartment on Saturday night and fatally stabbed Ms Henderson.
Police allege Pilcher became jealous after Ms Henderson uploaded a selfie on Saturday showing her with her new boyfriend at the Townsville Cup races.
And the reports say police believe that selfie “led to a fatal stabbing”.
But a selfie didn’t kill Ms Henderson and implying she is responsible for her own tragic demise because of her choice to publicly display her happiness is just plain wrong.
This victim-blaming teeters dangerously close to suggesting the legal defence of provocation applies in this situation.
The defence – which still stands in South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales – allows violent men to have their murder charge reduced to manslaughter by claiming they were ‘provoked’ by the victim.
It results in the victim being blamed, at least in part, for their violent death.
Whether this partial defence will be invoked at a future trial in this case is anyone’s guess.
But blaming Ms Henderson’s innocent selfie for her death is a dangerous – and potentially deadly – message to send to women.
Should they isolate themselves and cut all ties to the outside world via social media to remain safe? Should they suffer in silence? Will the violence end if they ‘behave better’?
This year alone, more than 60 Australian women have been killed by a partner or family member.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called for a national “cultural shift” so Australians stop disrespecting women.
But not blaming victims for the violence that befalls them is a big part of that necessary shift. And it’s why the vocabulary around domestic violence is vitally important.
Because a woman is never responsible for domestic violence. And they need to know that.
Any man who stabs a woman to death is completely, utterly, 100 per cent responsible for his actions.