‘Why was she running alone? Why so early?’: Mom calls out victim blaming in wake of Eliza Fletcher murder in Memphis

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“The victim blaming has started.

Why was she running alone?

Why was she running so early in the morning?

The media refers to her first as an ‘heiress’ when introducing her story.

Eliza was much more than an ‘heiress.’

She was a person of her own.

A beloved kindergarten teacher.

A mother of two small children.

Like any mom, she enjoyed making memories with her children.


Living life to the fullest for herself, her family, and her community.

She was described as active, fun, and involved in her church.

Eliza’s infectious smile touched the hearts of the children she taught.

Yet I see the comments:

She should not have been running at that time.

Why was she running alone? Women need to exercise in pairs.

Women should not run by themselves once it is dark.

Do you know what I did not see in the comments?

Men should travel in groups to prevent the other men from attacking women.

Men should not be alone so their friends can remind them not to rape and murder.

Men must be inside once it is dark, so they avoid doing anything ‘bad.’

Sounds ridiculous, right?

A woman walking by herself in a parking lot always feels on edge when a male is present who she does not know.

This is our daily reality.

Imagine telling a man, ‘You can’t walk or run by yourself, and be careful what you wear!’

There is no man-shaming here.

Our reality as women means it is often hard or impossible to know who the ‘good guys are.’

Let’s change the narrative.

We can raise our girls to be strong and self-aware like Eliza.

We can raise our boys to call out victim shaming and women-blaming.

Let’s raise our children to leave this world a kinder and safer place.

Let’s raise our children to be an ally of the other sex.

Working together, we can work to protect all of our children.

Eliza was more than an heiress. She was more than just a woman ‘running alone.’

She was a teacher, inspiring children to do better each day.

We can sow the seeds of change in how we parent our kids.

This is how best we can remember Eliza and honor her memory.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Aliette Silva. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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