Oscar in court yesterday
It's the PR stunt that has caused outrage...
As Oscar Pistorius goes on trial in South Africa for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, gambling site Paddy Power is taking bets on the verdict.
Using an image of the film industry Oscar, with Pistorius's face superimposed on top, they have spent thousands putting adverts in newspapers and magazines with the slogan: 'Money back if he walks.'
Words literally fail us. We can't imagine who came up with the heartless idea - but it's probably safe to assume they have no idea of the devastating impact of domestic violence. In the UK alone, one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. Now can you see why no one is laughing, Paddy Power?
"They are making a game out of murder and the brutal killing of a young woman which is unacceptable’, says Holly Dustin, director of End Violence Against Women. “It is not just that this is a bit sick - it also actually contributes to a culture in which violence against women is trivialised or made into a bit of a joke.”
Oscar with Reeva Steenkamp
Paddy Power say they have "no intention at the moment" of taking the advert down, describing the court case in South Africa as ‘like OJ Simpson on steroids’.
With them apparently losing their moral compass, Change.org have stepped in with a petition calling for them to withdraw the ad. More than 96,000 people have signed it already - but they need more signatures.
Jean Hatchett, who started the petition, wrote, ‘I am a survivor of domestic violence and abuse and I know how many women around the world are suffering right now thinking that they are lucky to be alive when poor Reeva Steenkamp is dead.’
Add your voice to the petition… and maybe then the gambling site will see a domestic violence is NEVER funny.