The news of Eurydice Dixon’s death has been very hard for the GPAN team. Along with her Melbourne community, those that knew her and those that didn’t, we have been mourning. Digesting this horrible news and trying to understand. Gathering ourselves.
This action of collective mourning isn’t new to the team. Each week we mourn the loss of another innocent Australian woman’s life, regularly lighting a candle in vigil for women who are victims of violence. Most often we don’t hear about the murders on our televisions or read about them on our Facebook feeds. These deaths happen without publicity, behind closed doors, very often in a woman’s home, and most often at the hands of someone she knows intimately. By the time news of these regular deaths reach us they are a statistic. We mourn them, as we are also mourning 28 year old Qi Yu, whose 19 year old male killer has been arrested in Sydney this week, while police continue the search for her body.
Eurydice’s death has not been that. Stalked, raped and killed by a stranger in a public place, her death has become very, very visible. It is shocking, we are outraged, and for GPAN, it feels particularly close. There are some among us who hang out in the same places that Eurydice did, or went to neighbouring schools to hers, or grew up in circles close by. But what has been perhaps even more shocking, even more saddening, what makes her death even more difficult to process, is that her alleged killer Jaymes Todd is a 19 year old man from here in Broadmeadows, the GPAN Project’s local community. We are deeply saddened that a local young person could commit this hideous act. Mourning that both Eurydice, Qi Yu and their killers were young people, like us. Deeply frustrated that our work in the prevention of violence against women did not reach these young men soon enough.
We are so sorry that this happened to you Eurydice, and mortified that Jaymes, you are responsible. We wish that you didn’t do it. That you had been brought up in a generation where crimes like these were unthinkable, a thing of a dark past. Where rapes and murders like the one you have admitted to were not recreated in fiction for you to devour each night on the television screen. Not something for your mates to play out in the world of video games. Not something that you very likely witnessed versions of in the relationships and people around you. We wish that this violence wasn’t normalised, desensitised, already familiar. We wish that you were raised in a community, a city, a world, that taught its young men that violence is never, ever ok and that women are to be cherished and respected and never harmed. That you were educated to understand the connection between disrespectful behaviour: those sexist jokes, calling your mates ‘a girl’ as an insult; and murder. We wish that you knew, without question or doubt, that girls and boys, women and men, are equal.
We are sorry, so sorry that it is too late for you Eurydice, and for you Jaymes. May it not be too late for the young men and women around you. May this be the very public outrage that means your friend’s children will never know this violence. May this all not be in vain.
Soon the Good People Act Now project will be leading a public response to Eurydice’s death, and the ongoing deaths of the women we mourn for week to week. We will be calling for your support. Please watch this space.
We are a youth led community group in Broadmeadows, Victoria, working to promote gender equality and end violence against women. We promote our message through community campaigns, local events, sporting clubs and schools in a variety of ways, including live performance, info sessions, movie making and social media.
Goals of the project To understand the relationship between gender inequality and violence against women To learn how we can take steps to prevent violence against women To build skills and confidence to undertake bystander action in our community To learn how to build and maintain respectful relationships To develop ourselves as leaders
Are you safe?
If you are experiencing family violence or someone you know is, the following organisations can help.