By MAMAMIA TEAM
TRIGGER WARNING: This article deals with an accounts of rape/sexual assault and may be triggering for survivors of abuse.
On Sunday, a Melbourne woman was brutally killed.
She was murdered in the van she was temporarily living in with her boyfriend of 19 years – and it was her boyfriend who discovered her body that day. Her boyfriend was initially a suspect but he has since been cleared of suspicion.
Detectives are now investigating whether one of the woman’s clients might be responsible for her death.
Tracy Connelly was a valued and appreciated member of her community, loved by her partner, and only 40-years-old. But you probably won’t recognise her name, given that these were the headlines that reported her death:
Tracy Connelly was a sex worker and it is her profession rather than the fact she was a loved and cherished person, that has dominated the column inches devoted to her murder.
The Age began their story:
Tracy Connelly had walked St Kilda’s red light district for at least a decade and knew her work was dangerous. In 2005, her minder was run over by a man who was angry that she refused to get in his car, Ms Connelly once told a court. She tried to survive without sex work, but needed the money.
Because apparently that’s the most important thing for the reader to know in a case like this. It’s not whether her killer had been apprehended. And not whether the local community should remain cautious. No, the most important facts, the ones that were put front and centre of the reporting, are how long she had been a sex worker for, and the implication of the deceased’s struggles with addiction.
It’s all a far cry from the media’s treatment of the Jill Meagher case. We knew all about beautiful, young Jill Meagher. All about her family, and the life she had ahead of her. And yet we know nothing about 40-year-old Tracy Connelly.