Violence Against Female University Students

Hashtag: # ÖzgecanAslan (Ozgecan Aslan – Name of Turkish Student)

Discrimination in Society

Two of the three victims of February 10, 2015, Chapel Hill shooting were female university students at the University of North Carolina. A day later, # ÖzgecanAslan, a female university psychology student at Cag University in Turkey, was murdered and burned by three men. This brutality caused an outcry and thousands of women went to the street to protest her death and blamed Turkey government’s “systematic misogynist policy” for the rising incidents of abuses against women.

The victims were university students, female, innocent or unsuspecting, brutally killed by a stronger male, and belonging to a similar religion. The female students in the Chapel Hill incident were Muslim, brutality shot in the head just outside their home, and murdered by a male anti-theist neighbor. Similarly, Ozgecan Aslan, a 20-year-old Muslim schoolgirl was on her way home from school when the three men (bus driver, his father, and a friend) who were trying to rape her stabbed her to death, burned and threw her body in a river.

These incidents are similarly in some aspects. For instance, many people think that the Chapel Hill North Carolina incident was a “faith Hate” crime while protesters supporting think that # ÖzgecanAslan case is Misogyny, which by definition is also a Hate Crime but specific to femininity. They are both results of discrimination in society, crime against the helpless and perpetrated by ordinary men rather than known criminals.

Misogyny according to literature is a male malady, a very primitive or stone aged view of women. Moreover, it is pervasive, persistent, and pernicious sexual prejudice. A government supporting this practice, therefore, is not only responsible for allowing continuity of such imprudent primitive concept but also encouraging violence against women.

Female Students Vulnerability to Crime

The result of study regarding victims of crime suggests that the real indicator of vulnerability to crime is not only helplessness but also a person’s lifestyle. Individuals spending time in public places such as working people, students, teachers, teenagers are most at risk. In fact, the survey shows that serious violent crimes against students often occurred away from school.

Although anyone can be a victim, female students are more vulnerable than male. In 1990, four unsuspecting female students of University of Florida were brutally murdered inside in their college apartment by Danny Rolling, a man who instead of feeling sorry for what he did, repeatedly sang “None greater than thee, oh Lord” before he died in the chamber in 2006.

Females are thought to be physically weaker thus is easier for a man to overpower a woman. For instance, the result of Crime Victimization Survey of students in Toronto High School in Canada suggests that 13% of female students experienced three or more sexual assaults while most violence occurring in school are hate crimes.

However, like # ÖzgecanAslan, there are women that are resilient and take reasonable actions against their attacker. They can be aggressive and can afford to stand up to stronger men particularly when inhibiting violence.



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