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.
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.
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.
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.