Letter to the Editor – September

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From Dannielle Hunter

On Thursday night (08/08/13) I attended the vigil held for Tracy Connelly, also known as ‘Kelly’. As a resident of St Kilda for just under one year, the end of my street is often frequented by sex workers. I was at home the day after her murder and it was a daytime TV bulletin that brought her death to my attention. Sadly it was a moment that will forever be etched in my memory. I looked at the TV report and the image of the horrific bloodied end she was met with was beyond awful, I felt sickened by the attack and indignant that the report was portrayed in a way that made this woman out to be just a prostitute. I couldn’t help but feel angry that her murder, in the following days, didn’t garner the same attention that Jill Meagher’s disturbing demise was met with – A number of speakers on the night highlighted this too.

The overall message though, was that violence against women is rife; no matter who they are, what their profession may or may not be is irrelevant. Violence against women is completely unacceptable.

The saddest fact is though, that the majority of violence inflicted upon women is behind closed doors, domestically. It is rarely reported to police and remains a hideous, hidden violation.

It is a basic, fundamental human right that women should be able to walk the streets, day or night, just as they should when at home. As most psychologists will tell you the victim nearly always protects their abuser. We as a society need to address this. Fear of shame and victimisation needs to be minimised and the prejudices within the judicial system still have a long way to come. It is sickeningly obvious that these misogynistic perpetrators rarely receive the punishments that befit their crime. Women also need to be more vocal about this vicious and vile behaviour because staying silent only allows it to remain the sinister and malevolent criminal act that it is.

In finishing I’d like to say that the vigil that was held for Tracy was extremely moving, giving this woman a touching memorial so deserving of a beautiful soul who was clearly loved by her community, as was evident by the hundreds who turned out on the night.

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