Today host Karl Stefanovic has ramped up debate about the safety of women in Australia following the murder of young Melbourne woman Eurydice Dixon.
Dixon was allegedly raped and murdered in a Melbourne park on Tuesday night. Police have since arrested a 19-year-old man, but are yet to lay any charges against him. Following Dixon’s death, Victoria Police urged women to have “situational awareness” and be aware of personal security.
“This is an area of high community activity … so just make sure you have situational awareness, that you’re aware of your surroundings,” Superintendent David Clayton told reporters on Friday, according to multiple media outlets.
“My message is that people need to be aware of their own personal security. That’s everywhere.”
But those comments sparked outrage, with many saying women should not have to live in fear. Stefanovic launched his own tirade against violence against women on Friday morning and said it was a problem Australia has to fix.
“How many more Australian women have to die?” he asked. “What is happening in this country when a woman can’t walk home on her own at night, can’t get home safely at night. We just need to fix it.”
Fellow host Georgie Gardner also launched into a discussion on how many women disliked walking around in a state of fear. “The reality is we should all feel safe to walk home from a job that we are doing in a well-lit busy area in the middle of a city,” Gardner said referring to Dixon.
“She was so close to home. That’s what is so devastating about it. She thought she was safe. She had every right to feel safe.”
In a powerful statement on Twitter, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has joined the national debate on women and safety, adding: “Eurydice died because of her attacker’s decisions – not because of her own”.
“So our message to Victorian women is this,” Andrews wrote. “Stay home. Or don’t. Go out with friends at night. Or don’t. Go about your day exactly as you intend, on your terms. Because women don’t need to change their behaviour. Men do.”
He added: “We’ll never change a thing until we do. We’ll never change this culture of violence against women. We’ll never change the fact that one woman in this country dies every week at the hands of a partner or former partner – someone they loved, in the safety of their own home.”
In a few days, women across Melbourne will hold a vigil in Princes Park for the life of Eurydice Dixon. They will do so firm in the knowledge that Eurydice died because of her attacker's decisions – not because of her own. They're right. And we need to accept that fact, too.
— Daniel Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) June 15, 2018