In Fresno, California, a 10-month-old baby is recovering in the hospital after being shot in the head by a man after her mother rejected his unwanted sexual advances. The mother, Deziree Menagh, 18, was at a social gathering with her daughter when she met Marcos Echartea, 23, and he started to make advances towards her. Uncomfortable with the advances, Menagh left the party with a friend to drive around hoping that Echartea would be gone. When they headed back to the party and were parking, Menagh and her friend noticed Echertea headed towards their car. When he arrived, he fired three rounds into the driver’s window, one hitting Menagh’s daughter in the head.
While horrifying, the story of a man turning violent after a rejection is nothing new. Every day there are cases in which rejection turns into violence.
Last year, Elizabeth May, an activist, took to Twitter to ask women to share their experiences of rejecting unwanted sexual advances, and thousands of women replied sharing terrifying experiences of violence and threats from men who felt they were owed something.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime released a report in 2018 that found that more than half of all female homicides were caused by intimate partners or relatives, depicting the home as one of the most dangerous places for women.
Sexual violence also harms trans women, who face higher rates of intimate partner violence than cisgender women. According to the Human Rights Campaign, fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, and that the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia conspire to deprive trans women of employment, housing, healthcare and other necessities.
Media Resources: NBC News 06/25/19; iNews UK 05/22/18; Feminist News Wire 11/30/18.