When 17-year-old Masa Vukotic was murdered in the Melbourne suburb of Doncaster while out for a walk in a park near her house, the Victorian Homicide Squad Chief responded to the tragedy by suggesting this: “…people, particularly females, they shouldn’t be alone in parks…I’m sorry to say that is the case.”
And it hit a nerve. Because women shouldn’t be afraid for their lives walking in a park. A walk in the park should be a walk in the park. An evening run should be an evening run, a night out should be a night out, a drink should be a drink, a date a date. Riding a bike home should be something we can do without fearing for our lives.
This week on All the Best we look at the chasm between a walk home for women and a walk home for men. We tell stories of street harassment, violence against women, and varying experiences of public places.
Women are already walking in fear – what does it mean when those in authority suggest they shouldn’t be walking at all?
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this episode: Lucy Watson, Ebony Bennett, Jane Gilmore, Jenna Price, Lily King, Hannah Reich, Bec Fary, Rose Randall, Josie Smart, Izzy Roberts-Orr, Bethany Atkinson Quinton, Tess Lawley.
Original sound design on our walks home was by Alyx Dennison.
The Hoopla published an extended version of Jane Gilmore’s Facebook Status, titled ‘Don’t, Don’t, Don’t Get Yourself Killed’
You can read Lucy Watson’s story ‘Reflections On My Assault, One Year Ago Today’ on New Matilda.
Here’s Jenna Price on shouting back at street harassers.
And a break down of that report by the Australia Institute on Australian women’s experiences of street harassment.
Features Executive Producers: Jess O’Callaghan and Heidi Pett
Presenters: Pip Rasmussen and Michael Brydon
Image Credit: A public space text-based projection by Melbourne artist Stephanie Freda Leigh.