Nine News (via AAP) reported that police have established a strike force to investigate the disappearance of 58 year old Ruth Ridley, who they suspect may have been killed in what they’ve described as a “domestic violence incident”.

The body of her estranged husband Gary Ridley was found in a dark blue Mitsubishi Pajero in Shelley, NSW in late October and police want to hear from anyone who was at Neils Bend reserve or Walwa on the Murray River between October 26 and 28.

Ruth Ridley is missing, presumed dead, and police are already calling it a suspected “domestic violence incident. Ruth was a mum, but she was many other things too. She’s not defined by her relationship to other people, she was a person and deserves to be recognised as such.

Police did not say she was a victim of a “domestic incident”, which sounds like it could be dropping an iron or lighting a cosy fire in the hearth. They said they fear she was a victim of a “domestic violence incident”.

It’s clearly too early for police to make accusations about what happened to Ruth but the media could at the very least, recognise these two essential facts. She was a person and they suspect domestic violence. What possible purpose is served by erasing her humanity and the fears of what happened to her?

FixedIt is an ongoing project to push back against the media’s constant erasure of violent men and blaming of innocent victims. If you would like to help fund it – even $5 a month makes a big difference – please consider becoming a Patron

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