THE MURDER of aspiring comedian Eurydice Dixon in Melbourne has sent shock waves across Australia.
Lighting candles in their windows, Tamworth women marked the tragic death with their own Light the Way Home vigil on Monday night.
Resident Jess Keighley was an old friend of Teah Rose Luckwell, who was murdered in a Tamworth unit in March – her body was discovered beside her one-year-old daughter.
“For me something as small as rallying with the community has helped cope,” Ms Keighley said.
“It’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed, it needs to start at the grass roots, it needs to start with attitude shifts towards the way women are viewed.
“It’s a systematic problem that starts at childhood with kids seeing and repeating patterns of adults, they don’t realise it’s a problem or unacceptable because it’s all they’ve ever known.
“Focus needs to be shifted away from what the victim did or didn’t do to the perpetrator, they need to be held accountable.”
In Tamworth, Oxley police responded to 1588 incidents of domestic violence in just six months last year.
That number doesn’t include the many incidents that go unreported, Tamworth Family Support Services homelessness and domestic violence manager Tanya Rogers said.
“Women are not responsible for violence, it’s the perpetrator who commits the acts that’s responsible – women should be free to walk wherever, wearing whatever they like at any time without fear of attack,” she said.
Eurydice Dixon was found by a passerby in a Melbourne park on Wednesday but was unable to be revived by paramedics.
A 19-year-old man has been charged with her rape and murder.
Victorian Police Superintendent David Clayton has copped flak for victim-blaming, after he said people need to take responsibility for their own safety at a press conference about the Melbourne comedian’s death last week.
Ms Rogers said it’s these kinds of comments that perpetuate myths about violence against women.
“I think it was very poorly worded,” she said.
“Again if we look at the statistics a woman is more likely to be killed or seriously injured in her own home, we’re warning women not to walk in a park at night but the facts are it’s much more likely she’ll be seriously injured or murdered in her own home by someone she knows.
“It defeats the whole purpose, everybody has a right to be safe.”
Ms Rogers said attitudes need to change locally, and men need to speak up against violence against women.
“Every year the number of men that attend our Reclaim the Night walk is growing, we need men to call out other men when they’re talking disrespectfully about women and say that’s not okay,” she said.
“The community needs to stand up together and change these norms, what happens behind closed doors shouldn’t stay behind closed doors.”
Tamworth’s Reclaim the Night walk will be held in October.
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