Courier Mail’s Coverage Of Mayang Prasetyo’s Murder Is All Kinds Of Terrible

At this point, it is known that our news sources can be somewhat less than stellar. We also know that to keep running, on account of people not being willing to pay for their services, media outlets need to get as many eyeballs on their titles as possible. (And on your right you will see an example of an Advertisement. Please keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle). Sometimes people take that, run with it and fuck up.

As a result of this, the death of a young woman, who was brutally murdered by her partner, has been trivialised and reduced to a few salacious tidbits.  

Instead of talking about domestic violence, about what factors could cause someone who allegedly had no criminal history or mental illness to speak of to kill their partner, try to dispose of their remains and then kill themselves…

Instead of having a conversation about anything of worth the words that have become the focus are ‘trans,’ ‘high-class,’ ‘transgender,’ ‘prostitute,’ ‘sex worker,’ ‘boiled’ and most horrifically:

How fucked up is News Corp’s coverage? Let us count the ways:


As it is we don’t have solid statistics regarding violence against transgender people – although there is a new initiative called Trans Violence Tracker which seeks to “provide the foundational information necessary to build greater awareness, greater accountability and promote better justice for those who have suffered horrific violence for being who they are” – but research suggests ‘Transgender people make up 1 to 1.5% of the world’s population’ but are ‘about 400 times more likely to be assaulted or murdered than the general population.’ On top of that trans women of colour make up ‘by far the largest group of victims.’ 

Since the person in question died by suicide, it will likely never be known whether mental health played a part in his actions but calling him a “monster” is certainly jumping the gun for the sake of a grisly headline. states that ‘Over 90% of the people who die by suicide have clinical depression or a similar mental illness when they die.’ 

Not only did the Courier Mail describe the way in which Marcus Peter Volke ended his life – a definite no no, so as not to encourage copycat deaths – they failed to take into account that “suicide is the leading cause of death in men aged between 15 and 44.” As Jack Heath, SANE Australia CEO, pointed out: “There’s a belief that the very idea of being a man is that you deal with stuff and you don’t reach out or connect. Untreated, the problem snowballs. The combination of that and the notion of having to deal with it alone, is the reason behind high suicide rates.” 

As discussed in an article on The Conversation entitled ‘Crazed Killer Headlines Defy Facts Of Crime And Mental Impairment,’ if a person is covered under defence of mental impairment – meaning they didn’t know what they were doing or didn’t know what they were doing was wrong – they are not a criminal. If we continue to perpetuate these stereotypes we become comfortable with the idea that there’s nothing that can be done for ‘these people’ and move further away from prevention. 


As you can see on

As to Mayang having previously worked as a ‘high-class prostitute,’ research shows that violence perpetrated against sex workers suggests that domestic partners, and not clients, account for most of it. As stated in research published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, rather than dealing with serial killers or single random offenders, “we are dealing with a systematic pattern of violence against prostitutes perpetrated by many men.” 



And mostly, their coverage was just sleazy as sin. It is incredibly easy to find pictures of Mayang fully clothed. Their use of the term ‘shemale’ was incredibly derogatory. And basically someone, someone, should have known better and stopped that front page before approx. 172, 801 copies of that shite was printed. 

In a case where we know so little, by focusing on her being transgender, a sex worker, hailing from Indonesia – everything and anything that casts her as ‘other’ – they have made the whole horrific situation less and less about the person who tragically lost her life. 

R.I.P Mayang Prasetyo

If you want to demand better of our Australian Press you can head to the APC website HERE

If you or anyone you know needs help or even to just talk to someone about domestic violence head to Reach OutMensLine 1300 78 99 78 or 

If you or anyone you know needs to talk about suicidal thoughts, there is help for you. Head to Lifeline 13 11 14 or Suicide Callback Service 1300 659 467 – they’re open 24/7.

If you just need to talk to someone head to HeadSpace. 

Anyone with information is asked to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

UPDATE: have started a petition HERE asking that future articles align with their code of conduct.