After news broke over the weekend that a body has been found in the search for missing tourist Grace Millane, Meg powerfully reflected on the case.
I’ll say it again louder for the people in the back, this was not her fault
Here are the words from Meg's letter:
I want to talk about Grace Millane who was 21 years old, celebrating her 22nd birthday In Auckland when she was allegedly murdered. She was young, vibrant, adventurous and traveled to New Zealand alone. I too have traveled alone, when I was 19 I flew to LA and did camp America. I know of many women who have done the same – family members, co-workers and friends all packing up their lives to enjoy the world.
And they all come home, full of stories and memories and life experiences they never would have been able to achieve by staying still. Grace won’t be going home and telling her stories. She won’t get her friends to crowd around her over brunch and flick through her photos in her phone with memories of new friends. She won’t be able to fulfil her dreams, fall in love, tick more things off her bucket list. She was unfairly, gut wrenchingly taken away from us. And it wasn’t her fault.
I have heard and seen too many comments asking the question what was she doing travelling by herself. Or whether she was on a tinder date or not. I’ll say it again louder for the people in the back, this was not her fault. Nor was it her parents, who would’ve proudly dropped her off at the airport with a backpack on her back and a smile on her face. The question we should be asking is why did a 26 year old man feel he had the right to take her life?
Grace wanted to come to New Zealand and enjoy all of the things that we love about our country, what we pride ourselves on. The scenery, the food, friendly people. And every woman should have the freedom to travel without the fear of death and violence.
My female friends: please let friends know where you are, who you are with and keep in touch with each other. There is an alarm on your iphone you can activate that will call the police if you feel scared, press the on-off button 5 times in a row and you will hear a siren sound. Samsung users, press that button 3 times and it will call your emergency contact. Look after each other. Men, please keep each other accountable – if you hear a mate talking disrespectfully of woman – be an ally to us and call them out on it.
We have a long way to go for aotearoa to be the safe oasis we advertise ourselves as.
Rest in peace to Grace, whos only crime was chasing an adventure and living her life.