The Murder Of College Student Mackenzie Lueck Raises A Conversation About Victim Shaming

Helen Storms - Author

Jul. 21 2019, Updated 10:32 p.m. ET

The topic of victim shaming has been a common topic of conversation in the media lately, causing a lot of controversy. Victim shaming is essentially placing guilt or blame on a victim, suggesting that whatever tragedy they endured could have been prevented if they had handled the situation differently or conducted themselves differently.

The topic has been brought up yet again due to the recent murder of 23-year-old Mackenzie Lueck, a former nursing student at the University of Utah. Lueck was brutally killed, yet still some blamed her for her own murder, according to Boston Globe.

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On the night that Lueck went missing, she had just arrived back in Utah after flying to her home state of California for her grandmother’s funeral. After arriving at the airport without incident, she called for a Lyft to pick her up and take her to a nearby park. It was there that she met up with 31-year-old Ayoola Ajayi who has since been charged with her murder.

Shortly after the young college student disappeared, it was brought to the attention of law enforcement that Lueck had been involved in sugar baby and sugar daddy relationships. Essentially, this is when older men pay younger women for sexual favors or simply companionship. Lueck even belonged to a private Facebook group in which she instructed other women upon how to secure these types of relationships for themselves. In one post, she revealed that she currently had two of these types of relationships going at the same time.

Many people on social media blamed Lueck’s sexual life as the reason she was killed. Her friends have condemned this way of thinking, emphasizing that under no circumstances did Lueck ever deserve to be killed or ask for what happened to her.

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One of Lueck’s close friends, Ashley Fine, has spoken out about the victim shaming that has been involved with this case and the way that it can harm other victims.

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“It hurts victims, and it stops them from coming forward. Regardless of anything somebody does, they do not deserve to be treated this way. That’s why we’re here and why we want to spread this message. We want victims to come forward regardless of the potential to be shamed. No person regardless of their gender or dating life deserves to die. Mackenzie is not responsible for the death and murder of Mackenzie. There’s only one person responsible for that, and we’re here to hold him responsible and we’re going to keep holding him responsible.”

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