On 13 June, 2018 Eurydice Dixon was raped and murdered while walking home. She was allegedly attacked by a man unknown to her.
Once the facts of Eurydice’s rape and murder were released to the public we saw an outpouring of furious discussion on social media, and not long after, we saw a litany of news articles consciously and unconsciously blame Eurydice for not keeping herself safe, for walking home late at night. What this effectively did, and does, is put the onus on Eurydice to protect herself and not on her alleged attacker. This is victim-blaming. It removes all responsibility from Eurydice’s alleged attacker and renders him invisible for his actions. This is not accountability. This is not how we will end men’s use of violence against women. In fact, this is how we support and perpetuate men’s use of violence against women.
Australian media outlets have a responsibility to bring us news and facts. As a community we expect media outlets to report accurately and ethically. The repercussions of victim-blaming further promote violence against women, and we demand change.
Following the event, we saw an overwhelming amount of women take to social media to highlight the hypocrisy of victim-blaming and how this leaves men who choose to use violence against women with little to no accountability for their actions. We saw Premier Daniel Andrews debunk victim-blaming myths, and while we appreciate the Victorian state leader’s powerful message, we need to see this on a national level; from federal and state leaders, employers, teachers, right down to local football club organisers.
If we do not put the onus on men who choose to use violence against women, we effectively make him invisible in our minds and across social service and justice systems.
We cannot wait until it is too late. We cannot lose another woman’s life due to men’s use of violence. As a community, we must work with men who use violence against women, and men who hold violence-supporting attitudes toward women. If we do not work with men to support them to stop using violence against women, we will not stop violence against women.
No to Violence is Australia’s largest peak body representing individuals and organisations working to end men’s use of family violence. We operate nationally, and more specifically, we represent 150+ Victorian members’ views to government. While Victoria has seen a recent funding injection across men’s intake referral services and community-based Men’s Behaviour Change Programs, we need to see long term, federal investment in all mainstream and diverse perpetrator interventions, early-intervention, and primary prevention campaigns.
As a community, we have to work with violent men to bring about change.
When appropriate and safe, we can all do something to intervene and create a safe environment for women. For example, if you see a man’s use of violence against a woman publicly, or if you hear something happening untoward next door, you can do something. If you hear or see violence-supporting attitudes displayed by coworkers, you can do something.
We must ensure that men who use violence are visible in our minds, and across social service and justice systems.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger please call 000.
If you have experienced family and/or sexual violence and require support please call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).
If you are concerned about your own behaviour, or would like further support or information about how to intervene safely, please call the Men’s Referral Service 1300 766 491 or head to ntv.org.au to chat online.