This story appeared on whimn.com.au
As Australians, we have all been shocked to our collective cores by the sickening, senseless, rape and murder of Eurydice Dixon. While we all grieve for a young woman killed in the most insidious circumstances, women especially, have taken her death to heart. Rydi, as she was known to her friends, was a young woman with views, opinions and big dreams. She was a woman like us.
As was 28-year-old Qi Yu, who was allegedly killed by her male housemate in Sydney, days before Eurydice was murdered. You may not have heard about Qi Yu, because women who are killed by men known to them, rarely engender the same sort of the headlines as women killed by the random strangers. However, both women’s lives and deaths are as equally important and add to the sickening toll of 31 femicides in just six months of 2018.
Every single one of these women’s deaths is a stark reminder that as women, we live under threat of sexual and physical violence at the hands of some men. Not all men, but some men. Most of us have felt vulnerable to the threat of male violence at some point; the dude that followed you home, stalked you in his car, flashed his dick at you on the train, who was aggressive and called you a slut when declined to take up his offer for a coffee, not to mention the one in five Australian women who have experienced sexual violence and one in four Australian women have experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner.
Which is why women, instead of treating these murders as an anomaly in the matrix, are speaking up about changing the culture in which we live. Following on from the #metoo and #timeup movements, which saw women empowered to speak out about their experiences of workplace and sexual harassment, Eurydice’s murder has galvanised women to talk about violence against women and begin a wider conversation about the constant feeling of vulnerability that we live with due to the fact that we could be attacked purely because of our gender.
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