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Death of Flight Attendant Sparks Debates About Victim-Blaming

Christine Dacera, a flight attendant who passed away on New Year, was subjected to victim-blaming even after her death.

One of the greatest fears for moms and dads is to have to bury their own child. Many parents consider this their biggest and worst heartbreak, and the sadness and grief are just immeasurable. This is exactly what Sharon Dacera has to deal with upon learning that her daughter Christine has passed away on New Year’s eve.

Living in General Santos City, Sharon heard the news of her daughter’s passing through a friend who called her on the phone. “Bakit, ano ba nangyari sa anak ko?,” she recalls her heartbreaking conversation with her friend. “Namatay na,” the caller said. “Ha? Nag-usap pa kami kanina 12:34 in the morning,” Sharon replied. (Read: Meet Three Men Who Made Bold Moves to End Violence Against Women)

According to reports, Christine Dacera, a flight attendant, was found lifeless in the bathtub of a hotel room in Makati City where she and her friends celebrated the New Year. She was said to have died due to a ruptured aortic aneurysm.

Foul Play Involved

However, police are still looking at the possibility of foul play as they found bruises and contusions on the victim’s body and sperm in her genitalia. The Dacera family’s counsel, Atty. Jose Ledda, also said that Christine told a friend that night that she felt weird and that someone might have slipped something in her drink.

May binitawang salita si Christine na tinanong itong kaibigan niya, sabi niya, ‘Parang may nilagay si [name] doon sa drinks ko kasi nag-iba ‘yung pakiramdam ko,” Ledda said. (Read: Catholic Nun on Rape Culture: ‘Stop Victim Blaming’)

Because of the angle of foul play, police already have 11 people on their list of suspects— three of which are already in their custody.

Christine Dacera celebrating Christmas Eve with her friends. (Photos from Christine Angelica Dacera Instagram and News Philippines Facebook)

Stop Victim-Blaming

The presumed “rape-slay” case has angered netizens, who are still posting their sentiments on social media up until now, January 4. And sadly, the issue has also brought to light some Filipinos’ mindset of victim-blaming. (Read: Pia Wurtzbach Calls on Voters to Register as Pemberton Gets Absolute Pardon)

With news about Christine still circulating the Internet, some netizens have been blaming the 23-year-old for what happened. “Bakit rin naman siya nakisali sa party kung alam naman niyang siya lang ang nag-iisang babae? Sana natulog na lang siya sa kwarto niya!,” one commenter said in response to Sharon’s statement that some of those who were with Christine that night were strangers.

Other netizens also said that Christine should have worn “more clothes” and should have “known better” than to drink with men, further angering those who stand up for women’s rights and empowerment.

A Pressing Issue

With comments like these blaming victims for the crimes committed against them, more and more women are becoming more afraid to speak up in the fear of being judged. (Read: Murder Case Timeline: The Jennifer Laude 2014 Slay)

According to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, 27% of the women and 21% of men they interviewed believe that the victims are to blame for the sexual harassment and assault done to them. This is an alarming statistic, as it enables the perpetrators to continue their wrongdoings with the belief that they would not be held accountable for their actions.


Photos from Christine Angelica Dacera Instagram and Kakie Pangilinan Twitter & InstagramWith the ongoing debates surrounding the passing of Christine Dacera, many netizens and celebrities are now reminding everyone that sexual assault is never the victims’ fault — women’s skirts aren’t “too short,” women aren’t “too liberated,” and women aren’t “too naive.”

“It is never the clothes, never the drinks — never the victim, period. it is always, ALWAYS, the rapist’s fault,” Kakie Pangilinan, daughter of Senator Francis Pangilinan, said in a tweet. Celebrity host Bianca Gonzales-Intal also tweeted saying, “Rape happens because of rapists, not because anyone “asked for it.”

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