Woman's story of walking home alone is chilling

Catriona Harvey-Jenner
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Following the murder of 22-year-old comedian Eurydice Dixon as she walked home alone in Melbourne last week, Australian police issued a warning. Authorities urged young women to "take responsibility for your safety" and to "exercise situational awareness" - and it's caused outrage.

One Twitter user deemed it a "disgraceful, sickening phrase", and questioned why we aren't instead asking "men [to take] responsibility for their behaviour?", and why society isn't taking responsibility "for failing to teach men not to be violent".

Photo credit: Eurydice Jane Dixon - Facebook

The wording puts the burden of blame on women for the fact they are sometimes attacked - raped and murdered just hundreds of metres from their front door, in the case of Eurydice Dixon - when actually, it's out of their hands who they come across while travelling alone. The only person who can truly control a situation like that is the attacker themselves, by deciding not to harm the other person.

In response to the police warning, one woman took to Twitter to share a chilling story about a time she was out on her own as it was getting dark. The story illustrates how a woman can be as vigilant as they want, but sometimes it requires simple luck or a proactive other person to help safely remove them from a scary situation.

It's horribly sad that women have to be vigilant while out alone in the dark. It's sad we have to make fake phone calls or aggressively jingle our keys to suggest we're nearly home. But if "taking responsibility for our safety" means never leaving the house without company because we don't know who we might come across or what horrific violence might befall us, then we won't do that. That isn't where the answer lies.

Follow Cat on Twitter.

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