Oscar Pistorius being released from prison is a disgrace

Oscar Pistorius, the South African Olympic track and field star, has been released from prison after serving seven and a half years for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius, dubbed the “Blade Runner” for his performances at the 2012 Olympics, shot and killed Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013. He claimed that he mistook her for an intruder in his home and shot her four times through the bathroom door.

Initially convicted of culpable homicide, Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison. However, after a successful appeal by prosecutors, he was found guilty of murder and his sentence was increased to 13 years and 5 months. Despite being convicted of murder, Pistorius spent his time in a minimum security prison for non-violent offenders, in a private cell with special accommodations.

Now, Pistorius is set to be released on parole but will still be under correctional supervision until the end of his sentence in 2029. This lenient treatment has sparked outrage among the people of South Africa, a country with high rates of gender-based violence. Many believe that Pistorius’ early release sends the wrong message and reflects a lack of seriousness in addressing gender-based violence.

While Pistorius will be able to move to a mansion with luxurious amenities, his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, will never have the opportunity to grow old. Her parents have started a foundation in her name, which aims to educate women and children about violence and abuse. It is a tragic reminder that Pistorius’ name will live on in infamy while Steenkamp will become a footnote in his story.

As Pistorius is released from prison, it is important to remember and support victims of abuse. Donating to local shelters or hotlines, checking up on friends and family, and vowing to remember the names of victims when celebrities engage in abuse or assault are all ways to make a difference. Let us not forget the importance of standing up against gender-based violence and supporting those who have been affected by it.

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