FOLLOWING the alleged murder of Eurydice Dixon in Melbourne, the chief executive of Annie North Women’s Refuge has called on the community to remember the other victims of violence against women.
“The statistics are clear that most violence against women is in the home or within the family from someone they know, and it’s usually a male,” Ms Oberin said.
“What’s interesting is the community’s outrage when a stranger murders a women.
“However, it is not replicated as women are harmed everyday by people who are supposed to know them and love them.”
The Australian Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Network 2018 Data Report indicated more than 79 per cent of the cases studied involved men taking the lives of women who were, or had been, intimate partners.
“It is tragic and terrible that Eurydice Dixon was (allegedly) murdered when she was walking home and what happens is it sends a message to all women that this can still happen to them, or their daughter, friends or sisters,” Ms Oberin said.
“It puts fear into people and at the same time it tends to silence the women who are experiencing this sort of terrorism by people they know.
“Because the community is unintentionally giving the message that it’s the ones who are hurt by strangers who are innocent ones.
“This is the hard message we have to challenge as it’s related whether it’s a stranger or somebody that we know.”
Ms Oberin said some men considered women to be secondary objects.
“And the messages are that no matter where it happens, that somehow women have provoked it and asked for it.
“Whether it’s a domestic murder or domestic violence, the community still very much believes that somehow we all need to keep out of it as it is private or the women provoked the men.”
Ms Oberin said there were plenty of ‘good men’ who would never hurt or harm a woman. “We’ve all got to stand together and change the attitudes of men that can grow up from being boys thinking it is okay to treat women in this way. We need men to be allies and challenge other men.”
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800respect.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
There will be candlelight vigils in Bendigo and Castlemaine to remember the life of Eurydice Dixon.
Bendigo vigil organiser Stacey Dean said what happened to Eurydice Dixon had touched a lot of people.
“Violence against women happens all over the country and this is just another reminder that we haven't come as far as we think we have,” she said.
“It’s really important that we acknowledge this.
Ms Dean said it was a wake up call and it was time ‘as a community to say we’ve had enough of this’.
“Let’s fill our public spaces with support and love for one another rather than despair,” she said.
“We need to reclaim the public spaces for everybody to feel safe in.
“Rosalind Park is such a beautiful public space...But for a lot of women, we don’t feel safe walking through there at night, even though it’s pretty well lit.”
The Bendigo vigil will be in Rosalind Park from 5.30pm on Monday and the Castlemaine vigil will be in Victory Park from 5pm on Tuesday.
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