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howard beach jogger Karina Vetrano

Karina Vetrano & Victim Blaming

When the murderer of Karina Vetrano was arrested, the arrest provided closure to some and questioning to others in the New York City area.

Vetrano was murdered during an evening jog in Queens during the summer of 2016. Normally, she went jogging with her father, but he did not accompany her on the day she was killed due to an injury. However, he had given her warnings that the path she ran on was not the safest, but she still ran on the path. Unfortunately, this led to her being murdered and sexually harassed by a Brooklyn man. Her mother was extremely distraught about the death of her only daughter and called the culprit a “demon.” Her father demonstrated a more forgiving appearance of acceptance and closure. Many people have reacted to the case, which took six months to resolve, with wishes that the family is able to overcome the tragedy and stay positive. The culprit may be sentenced to 25 years in jail, and many have commented that he does not even deserve to be in jail; he should just be executed!

As a resident of the Queens, this murder story makes the cruelties of the world seem more realistic and it makes the world appear less safe because of some people’s predatory nature. Some of my family members have expressed their opinions towards the case and for the most part, they have engaged in victim-blaming. As more conservative adults, they have expressed their concerns over how Vetrano was dressed during her jog, which could have made her a more likely target for sexual assault. Even though society should not judge a female by how she is dressed and look at being less dressed as consent, it is still a misconception of many. Furthermore, when my family learned that Vetrano’s father had warned her against going jogging alone, yet she had still gone, they blamed her for taking the risk. Being parents, my family members made sure to teach my siblings and I to obey them whenever they cautioned us against going somewhere for our own safety because they are more experienced. For example, during the nighttime my parents do not believe that it is safe to go out alone because it is harder to see, and more crimes take place during this time. Vetrano’s murder justifies their suspicion and also reveals their morals.

I like to think that I live in a very safe neighborhood in Queens, but there have also been crimes every once in awhile. It’s hard to tell when a crime will happen, especially in the case of Vetrano because she was used to jogging on the same path every day and nothing dangerous had happened to her. The critiques that my family has made regarding Vetrano reveals that they believe in protecting yourself from dangerous situations and not taking the chance to allow yourself to be a victim. The idea that they were trying to protect was that parents want the best for their children, and they will guide them through life, even if that means being restrictive and overprotective. In addition, they were trying to protect my siblings and I from being harmed.

My family is very loving of one another and we would never want to see anyone get hurt. Their views on the murder of Vetrano resulted from a "fear reaction triggered by the human drive for self-preservation." In order to create a sense of security and to preserve the safety of the neighborhood, they chose to blame Vetrano for making herself vulnerable to the culprit. Although they were somewhat angry at the culprit for murdering what appeared to be an innocent jogger, they were more inclined to believe that the victim took it upon herself to be sexually assaulted. It is easy for many people to say that Vetrano could have avoided her end by choosing to not jog on that day or taking the necessary precautions, but for someone who jogged there on a daily basis, a murderer did not seem to be a likely encounterance. Another comment that my family made was that the parents of the victim would not be able to live the same after having lost their only child, and this reveals their strong love for their children. In summation, all of these critiques demonstrate their moral views that children should heed their parents’ advice. Their moral views preserve their status as parents and provides them with a sense of control over the safety of their children in fear that losing a child would be very heartbreaking since raising a child and the memories that are created with any child are priceless.

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