Its the night of Tuesday 12th June 2018, Eurydice Dixon has just finished her comedy performance at the Highlander Bar in Melbourne's CBD. After bidding farewell to her partner at around 10.30pm Eurydice sets out for an around about five kilometre walk home, a walk home it is assumed she would know fairly well. Around midnight she sends her boyfriend a text message "I'm almost home safe." she wrote. She was wrong, she would not make it home safe. At approximately 3am Eurydice's body was found by a passerby in the middle of Princes Park, less than a kilometre from the home she shared with her father and brother. She had been attacked, raped and murdered, her body left limply in the middle of a soccer field. Eurydice was only 22 when her life was cut short, all statements say she was a funny, kind and clever women, one who was a childcare student. She was a daughter, a sister, a lover, a friend, a collegue- and now she is gone- her life taken through the selfish actions of another man.
Last year 51 women were killed by violence, twenty four weeks into 2018 and the total is already sitting at 30- how many more women need to die before something is done about this? We live in a society where we need to teach our daughters to be wary of men, we live in a culture of violence against women.
The Victoria Police released a series of statements following the death of Eurydice Dixon- "make sure people know where you are, and if you've got a mobile phone, carry it." and "people need to be aware of their of personal security" were among the quotes from statements released. Essentially- Eurydice was doing everything right- someone knew where she was, she was carrying her mobile phone and from the words of her family and friends we can safely assume she was aware of her personal security- an yet she was still attacked and her life taken from her. We, as women should not be responsible for not getting murdered, men should be responsible for not attacking us. We shouldn't have to be taught how to protect ourselves, we should be teaching men that they don't have a right to our bodies- and our lives. We shouldn't need to be teaching our daughters to be wary of men, we should be teaching our sons that attacking women is wrong.
As much as we can walk home with our keys in our hands, with a mobile phone, in lit areas, with a fair knowledge of where to hit a man and make it count- a man that is prepared to rape and murder a women, a stranger- well, no amount of "situational awareness" is going to save us from that.
19 year old Jaymes Todd handed himself into police after CCTV footage showed him stalking Eurydice through the streets of inner Melbourne. He didn't know Eurydice, he didn't know her name, he didn't know that she loved and had people who loved her, he didn't know that she was one day going to be a hugely successful comedian- he didn't know that, and he didn't care. He chose to rape and take the life of a complete stranger. He chose this, this was his decision. It was his choice to stalk her through the suburbs. It was his choice to attack her in the most dimly lit and secluded area of the park. It was his choice to take advantage of her. It was his choice to kill her. It was not her decisions that killed Eurydice, it was the decisions of Jaymes Todd that killed her, it was all him.
We, as women are entitled to feel safe, but we don't. We think twice before walking home, we we cross to the other side of the street out of fear of a man, we write down the cab numbers before sending our friends on their way. We do these things out of fear. A fear that we shouldn't need to have. Walking alone shouldn't be considered a risky move- neither should getting a taxi alone. Will we forever being living in a world we cannot feel safe when out alone? Are things only going to get worse for future generations? Are our future daughters going to be killed at the hands of a man? Are our sons going to be the ones making the decision to end a women's life?
Something needs to be done, we need to feel safe. We need prevention programs and protection measures- we need it all. This is a such a serious issue and yet it isn't even a blimp on the governments radar. Women have a right to be and feel safe.