Nearly six years ago, in the early hours of the 22nd of September, 2012, Jill Meagher left drinks at a pub in Brunswick street and began walking home.
It was late – or early, depending on how you consider it; perhaps around 1.30am.
In the short walk between the bar and her home, Jill Meagher encountered a man named Adrian Bayley. He did not know her and she did not know him. He raped her and then he killed her, burying her body in a shallow grave some 50 kilometres from where he first found her.
Australia was angry and defiant and sad and brimming with despair. They took their emotions to the streets.
On September 30, 2012, a 10,000 person-strong crowd walked the streets of Melbourne. Some held signs, none chanted and not one yelled. The message was quiet but deafening: Violence against women is not tolerated, and we’re willing to walk for it. A year later, some 30,000 people turned out to do the same thing on the anniversary of her death.
But of course, you know this already.
The case of Jill Meagher seized the nation, the country collectively and loudly horrified by the fate of the young 29-year-old. Women deserve to feel safe in their own city, we said. They should feel safe in their own suburbs and on their own streets. We despaired for a world where darkness was a woman’s biggest enemy, a world that encouraged her to avoid danger, to exist around and in spite of it, rather than crushing the source of it with all of our might.
Some five and a half years after our despair was a national conversation, 22-year-old Eurydice Dixon was walking home from a gig in Carlton. She was a comedian, an up-and-coming one.
As she bid her farewells to the cache of people who came out to laugh with her, Dixon began to walk home. Five hours later, her body was found in the middle of a soccer pitch between Royal Parade and Princes Park Drive.
She had allegedly been raped and murdered.
Two days later, a man by the name of James Todd was charged with her rape and murder. He would have been just 14 when Jill Meagher was killed, just 14 years old when scores of people pounded the streets of Melbourne and defiantly declared they would not stand for it. That they were angry. Not in their town and not on their watch.
Today, a woman is dead and a man is in custody. Today, we must get marching.
Today, we need to remind potential perpetrators that we won't stop fighting. That we will be vigilant in our fight against violence against women and we will be raucous in our riot. That we will unite as a force once again, and together, this time our voices won't quieten. They will not be dulled as our shock subsides.
We marched for Jill to make our fury known. Perhaps now it's time we did the same for Eurydice.