WOMEN
03/10/2016 05:48 pm ET

Woman Writes Powerful Post On Victim Blaming From The Perspective Of Murdered Women

"Yesterday I was killed... But worse than death, was the humiliation that followed."
Marina Menegazzo (L) and María Coni (R) were murdered while traveling in Ecuador. 
María Coni / Facebook
Marina Menegazzo (L) and María Coni (R) were murdered while traveling in Ecuador. 

A Paraguayan college student named Guadalupe Acosta wrote a powerful Facebook post from the perspective of two young women who were murdered while traveling in Ecuador. 

The post is a powerful commentary on violence against women and the ever-present victim-blaming that comes with it. 

On February 22, María Coni, 22 and Marina Menegazzo, 21 were backpacking through Ecuador when they reportedly ran out of money. When they met two local men who offered them a place to stay for the night, Coni and Menegazzo accepted the offer. 

According to BBC, the women's bodies were found a few days later in plastic bags on the beach. The two men reportedly confessed to the murders with one of the men confessing that he hit Coni over the head with a board after Coni wouldn't let him touch her. 

Acosta wrote the Facebook post in response to the victim-blaming that ensued after the two Argentine women were found dead. She told BBC that many online commenters asked why Coni and Menegazzo were traveling alone, suggesting that the choice to "travel alone" (but still with each other) resulted in their murder. 

Below is Acosta's heart-wrenching post from the perspective of Coni and Menegazzo. "Yesterday I was killed... But worse than death, was the humiliation that followed," Acosta wrote in Spanish. (Scroll down for English translation.) 

Warning: Images below may be disturbing to some readers. 

The Facebook post quickly went viral. As of Thursday afternoon, the post had received over 700,000 shares and 400,000 likes

"From the moment they found my inert dead body nobody asked where the son of a bitch that ended my dreams, my hopes and my life was," Acosta wrote. "No, instead they started asking me useless questions... What clothes were you wearing? Why were you alone? Why would a woman travel alone?"

The Huffington Post translated Acosta's post. Read the full English translation below: 

Yesterday I was killed.

I refused to be touched, and with a stick they cracked my skull open. I was stabbed and they let me bleed to death.

Like waste, they put me in a black polyethylene bag, wrapped with duct tape and I was thrown to a beach, where hours later they found me.

But worse than death, was the humiliation that followed. 

From the moment they found my inert dead body nobody asked where the son of a bitch that ended my dreams, my hopes and my life was. 

No, instead they started asking me useless questions. Me, can you imagine? A dead girl, who can not speak, who can not defend herself.

What clothes were you wearing?

Why were you alone?

Why would a woman travel alone?

You were in a dangerous neighborhood. What did you expect?

They questioned my parents for giving me wings, for letting me be independent, like any human being. They told them we were surely on drugs and were asking for it, that we must’ve done something, that they should have looked after us. 

And only once dead did I understand that no, that to the rest of the world I was not equal to a man. That dying was my fault, and it will always be so. But if the headline would have read “two young male travelers were killed” people would be expressing their condolences and with their false and hypocritical double standard speech would demand the highest penalty for the murderers.

But when you’re a woman, it is minimized. It becomes less severe, because of course I asked for it. By doing what I wanted to do, I got what I deserved for not being submissive, not wanting to stay at home, for investing my own money in my dreams. For that and more, I was sentenced.

And I was sad, because I’m no longer here. But you are. And you’re a woman. And you have to deal with the same speech about “making others respect you,” about how it's your fault they shout at you on the street that they want to touch/lick/suck one of your genitals because you're wearing shorts when it’s 40ºC of heat outside, about how if you travel alone you’re “crazy” and surely if something happened to you, if they trampled all over your rights, you were asking for it.

I ask you, on behalf of myself and every other women who’ve been hushed, silenced; I ask you on behalf of every woman whose life and dreams were crushed, to raise your voice. Let's fight, I’ll be next to you in spirit, and I promise that one day we’ll be so many that there won’t be enough bags in the world to shut us all up.

"These kinds of comments are often heard in Latin American countries when the murder of a woman happens," Acosta told BBC. "There are hundreds of laws under which [women] are treated as equals. But while that's the law, the real world is something else." 

On Feb. 27, before the two women's bodies were discovered, Menegazzo's younger sister tweeted a photo and asked people to share the image to help locate her older sister. 

The next day, Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa responded to the younger sister, writing: "All of Ecuador is with you." 

From the perspective of Coni and Menegazzo, Acosta asked women everywhere to speak out against victim blaming and violence against women. Acosta summed up her Facebook post, writing: "Let's fight, I’ll be next to you in spirit, and I promise that one day we’ll be so many that there won’t be enough bags in the world to shut us all up."

HuffPost

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