The reaction to Eurydice Dixon’s murder has been quite rightly overwhelming: enough is enough

Her traumatic death has brought waves of heartbreak for Australian women because it reminded us we’re never safe.

By Kate Wagner

On Wednesday night, Eurydice Dixon was raped and murdered walking home from her comedy gig. Her traumatic death has had such a profound effect on Australian women, in part because of the banality in the moments leading up to it.

She left a bar with her friend at 10:30pm, bought a protein bar and a Dr Pepper, hugged her friend goodbye and said: "I think I feel like walking tonight".

It's terrifying because, for her, it was such an average night — in a year's time she probably wouldn't have remembered any of the specifics. Her murder reminds us of the persistent and vicious war on women, that even when we think we're safe, we're not.

That fear was soon clouded with anger at the Victorian police's suggestion "people" (read: women) should be responsible for their safety.

Social media blew up at the suggestion women shouldn't walk home at night, mainly because that implies there is a safer option. Women aren't only attacked on the street; they're assaulted in Ubers and taxis, they're stalked through public places and they're at most risk of being killed in their own home.

There was also frustration at the police's advocacy for women displaying situational awareness and to carry a phone, especially since Eurydice had texted her friend saying she was almost home just minutes before her alleged rape and death.

Social media reactions were punctuated by exasperated queries as to why police were telling people to be safer, not stressing that men who commit violent crimes will be persecuted to the full extent of the law.

News organisations reported the 19-year-old male suspect has autism and people were quick to reject that as any kind of defence. To suggest violent crimes can be explained away with autism is damaging and irresponsible.

To suggest women shouldn't walk alone at night is not only offensive, it completely disregards the burden of getting a car. Needing to pay for a taxi or Uber every time you go somewhere at night can be an untenable luxury, especially for young students.

Women also came forward with their own stories of being alone and scared at night — a familiar feeling for us all.

Eurydice's death reignited that niggling sense of hopelessness that lies dormant most of the time in women; will we ever feel comfortable and safe in this world?

Women are being killed at a sickening rate in Australia and every time we hear about another one on the news, it's so devastating because we know it'll happen again.

Eurydice's murder has caused waves and waves of heartbreak and we wish we were typing her name to promote her comedy show instead.