"I choose not to remember this alleged murderer's name. I will not."

In her memory, this is what I choose.

Last week, Stephanie Scott was a teacher, sister, daughter, friend and partner.

This week, she’s a headline. We’re seeing her name everywhere.

But there is another name that we are seeing alongside hers. The name of her alleged murderer. The papers are filled with information about him. His young age. His job. His twin brother. His mother who helped police find a desecrated body that police believe is Stephanie’s.

Stephanie and her partner, Aaron. Via Facebook.

But today, in light of all that has transpired over the past week in Leeton and the loss of so many women this year through acts of senseless violence, I have decided that I will not acknowledge the name of Stephanie’s alleged murderer.

I will not write it.

And most of all, I choose not to commit it to memory. I will not remember him.

Stephanie in Rome in 2013. Via Facebook.

That doesn’t mean that I will forget this crime. But I choose to remember Stephanie Scott. I choose to remember her partner, Aaron Leeson-Woolley. I will remember her father Robert and her sisters, Kim and Robyn. I will remember the beautiful words they shared with the community to provide comfort to relative strangers while they themselves were going through Hell.

Read: The beautiful wedding toast that Kim Scott never got to give to her sister Stephanie.

I will remember that an entire town turned out to grieve with the Scott family. I will remember that thousands of Australian women put out their special dresses in solidarity with Stephanie Scott. I will recall the beauty of the yellow balloons and the tears of strangers who were moved by the simple sight of them.


See the pictures: Women share their dresses in memory of Stephanie Scott.

But I will not remember the man who allegedly ended Stephanie’s life and brought grief to so many.

I have promised myself that I won’t. Not today and not ever.

I hate the fact that I can name so many Australian murderers. I don’t like the fact that I remember Jill Meagher’s killer’s name. Or the name of the serial killer who murdered seven young people and buried them in Belanglo State Forest in the 90s. I am ashamed that I cannot name a single one of his victims and that I only remember them as “backpackers”.

I can only name a handful of women who have been murdered this year, even though I’ve written about almost all of them. I can see some of their faces. I can recall parts of their stories, but mostly I just remember the grisly details of their deaths – not the full and vibrant truth of their lives.

Masa Vukotic and Prahba Arun Kumar were both murdered last month.

So today, I have decided that I will not add another alleged murderer’s name to the list in my mind.

I will not remember this man. I will look away. I will keep my eyes firmly focussed on the women we’ve lost. I will remember their faces and I will remember their names.

He is nothing. They are everything.

I will remember that.

Click through this beautiful gallery of women putting out their special dresses in solidarity with Stephanie and with all of the women who have lost their lives to senseless violence.