House debates

Monday, 18 June 2018

Statements by Members

Prevention of Violence Against Women

1:58 pm

Photo of Bill ShortenBill Shorten (Maribyrnong, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

I offer the sympathies of this parliament to Eurydice Dixon's family and to all the people who loved her and to the people she loved. We remember that they're not mourning a statistic or a cautionary tale; they're grieving for a person—a funny, smart, clever woman with passions and opinions, friends and family. She wasn't seeking to make a statement that night; she was just living her life. She had her phone with her, now full of 100 unfinished conversations. She was happy that her comedy performance had gone well. She was messaging a friend to check in and let him know that she was nearly home safe. None of that cost her life. Nothing she did or didn't do in any way makes her responsible for what happened. Walking home should not mean that you are risking your life. Getting an Uber, a cab or catching public transport should not be a dangerous ordeal. Women's rights in Australia must include freedom of movement, and that's about more than just better lighting and more CCTV cameras. It's about attitudes, it's about actions, it's about honesty, it's about stopping violence and stopping the enablers of violence, it's about deciding as a nation that violence against women is ultimately preventable, and it's about the example that we set for our sons. Our hearts go out to Eurydice's loved ones today. May she rest in peace.