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Thousands of Melburnians are gathering for a 'Reclaim Princes Park Vigil'

"We all should be able to walk home, whenever we want, wherever we want." 

Thousands of Melburnians are showing support for a vigil in Princes Park in an effort to "reclaim" the space, following the rape and murder of Melbourne comedian Eurydice Dixon. 

The vigil is both a commemoration of Dixon's life, as well as a show of solidarity in wake of police urging people to be "aware of their surroundings" following the attack. 

The police warning sparked immense backslash on social media, with many dubbing the comment "victim blaming". 

"[Dixon] should have been able to walk home safely from work without being followed and harmed in such a cruel way," reads the vigil's Facebook event. 

"We all should be able to walk home, whenever we want, wherever we want, and assume we will make it home safe. Our bodies are not there for taking. It is not up to us to keep ourselves safe when we know it’s up to men to choose not to inflict violence upon us. 

"Princes Park is a beautiful place, a wonderful space for the community to enjoy and we ask you to join us to pay our respect and to Reclaim The Park." 

The same sentiment was echoed by social commentator Clementine Ford. 

"It isn't up to women to 'prevent' violence from being enacted against us. It is up to society to work together to dismantle misogyny and the particular kind of male rage that underpins these acts of violence," said Ford

"Women are told to act cautiously and modify our behaviour to prevent this from happening. But that kind of messaging is bullshit and shortsighted. Abusive, violent men aren't unavoidable weather patterns. We don't just have to batten down the hatches and ride out the storm, convinced there's nothing we can do because nature is an invincible force. Even though we might personally be safe in a bunker, the storm still hits someone." 

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews also showed support for the vigil. 

"In a few days, women across Melbourne will hold a vigil in Princes Park for the life of Eurydice Dixon. They will do so firm in the knowledge that Eurydice died because of her attacker's decisions – not because of her own. They're right. And we need to accept that fact, too." 

 

The Reclaim Princess Park Vigil will take place at Prince Park Drive on Monday June 18 from 5.30pm - 7.30pm. Visit the Facebook event here

1800 RESPECT – the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service — can be reached on 1800 737 732.