Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Father kills daughter as she has migraines.

Randy Janzen made the choice to kill his 19 year old daughter Emily, her mother Laurel and his sister Shelly. He then killed himself during a standoff with police who were alerted to his post on Facebook claiming responsibility. His statement claims that he did this to 'spare' Emily the pain caused by constant migraines, Laurel as a mother "should never have to hear the news her baby has died" and Shelly to spare her the shame of his actions. His statement includes phrase: "(n)ow my family is pain-free and in heaven" as though his act was selfless and kind.

Rather than examining the reality of family annihilators, who are almost entirely men with histories of domestic violence and controlling behaviour, The Mirror has presented the murder of Emily, Laurel and Shelley as justifiable. Emily may have suffered from debilitating migraines but that is simply not an acceptable reason for a father to kill a child; nor are his reasons for murdering Laurel and Shelly acceptable. This level of male violence should not be presented in the media with excuses. Janzen's Facebook statements are clearly something the media would report but there are ways of doing so without excusing or glorifying fatal male violence.

Global News in Canada has gone a step further with the inevitable interview with a friend of the family who argues that Janzen was a not a 'monster'. We know Janzen was not a 'monster' but not because he was "a loving husband, father and big brother". These interviews with family and friends after fatal male violence inevitably portray men as "good fathers" driven to kill to "protect their families".  Loving husbands and fathers do not kill their children and wives. The frequency with which these crimes continue suggests that it is 'normal' men who choose to kill; just like it is normal men who choose to rape.

We need to start addressing fatal male violence appropriately. This is why we support the Counting Dead Women campaign. We need accurate data on fatal male violence against women and girls that does not include myths about male violence or make excuses for perpetrators. We need to acknowledge the link between domestic and sexual violence and abuse and fatal male violence and we need to hold the media accountable for publishing myths and other misinformation about male violence.

Emily, Laurel and Shelley deserve better than to be erased by a media claiming their killer was a good father.

Randy Janzen, A Canadian father has apparently confessed to shooting dead his teenage daughter Emily, wife Laurel, and sister Shelly at two separate homes in a chilling Facebook post



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