Content warning: sexual assault, murder.
Earlier this week, the body of 22-year-old Eurydice Dixon was found in Melbourne’s Carlton North. She was tragically murdered on the way home from performing at her comedy night.
The response to her death, by Victoria Police, has left people furious. Instead of sending a message to Australian’s about the despicable actions committed at the hands of men, and the need for us to teach men not to rape and murder – The police gave women a warning on vigilance.
“My message is that people need to be aware of their own personal security and just be mindful of their surroundings,” Detective Inspector Stamper told the community.
Victoria Police Superintendent David Clayton echoed this sentiment when he told the community to “take responsibility for your own safety”.
Triple J’s Gen Fricker has penned a poignant speech on the topic, about Eurydice’s tragic death, assault and what we NEED to do about it.
In her speech she urges:
“So, while I see women trying to solve this problem I think something to keep in mind, especially because it’s Friday and I know that so many people are going to go out tonight and walk home or expect to get home safely, there’s something I really want to ask of you. If you are a man and you see your friends making someone feel uncomfortable, if you see them making a remark to a woman or you see your mates on social media attack a woman or say something nasty about her: call them out.
That’s where this starts. These men aren’t formed in a vacuum. It’s not like that. It grows from those little things. So, I think if you really feel powerless in the face of something as tragic as this, that is one thing you can do to make women feel safer.”
You can read Gen’s speech here.
We need to stop telling women to “be careful” and we need to hold men accountable. Women don’t need to be told to stay vigilant. We know how to be vigilant – we’ve spent our entire lives being vigilant. The change needs to happen within our culture. The dialogue needs to shift from blaming the victim, to blaming the perpetrator.
There needs to be more resources dedicated to teaching men about the importance of respecting women. We need to address the attitudes that lead to violent and horrific behaviour towards women. This needs to stop.