Look how tall…!!

I used to be regular GuardianOnline reader once. Now I’m rather erratic about it, mostly because the Hindu has started carrying some of the Guardian Op-Eds.

So today’s Hindu also has one of those: a column by Hasan Suroor on the debate over the Ipswich murders.

Except one who came from a broken family, others were described as “normal” and “happy” girls. One was only 19 and wanted to be a pop star; another aspired to be a model; a third wanted to be a beautician; and one of them — daughter of a businessman — trained in social healthcare.

So, what happened? Why did they end up the way they did? Were they victims of circumstances? Or casualties of the choices they freely made for reasons they alone knew? And, most crucially, could they have been saved?

Hmm. Of course, the whys and wherefors he’s raised are important. And even more important is the stuff he brings up later:

The case has shocked Britain and led to calls for legalising prostitution so that sex workers are not forced to walk the streets and put their lives at risk. There have been suggestions that they should be allowed to work within a “regulated” environment by introducing a system of licensed brothels as in some other countries, or by setting up “managed areas” on the Dutch model. It has also been suggested that to keep drug addicts off the streets the Government should set up clinics where they can get the drugs they crave for, and also be treated for their addiction.

Ever since this imitation-Ripper began his spree, the focus has been on the victims. They were prostitutes. They abused drugs. Woman, please don’t walk alone at night; you might become a victim.

And still, the terms of this debate don’t reek of the ‘it’s her fault’ attitude that usually goes with victim-focus in the media. (Neither did the recent coverage of the Jessica Lall case, though not for want of trying, earlier.) Instead, the focus is on finding a solution: providing safe-areas, pushing for a re-trial.

Are we growing up?


One Response

  1. that’s a nice conclusion

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