In response, Hayley Cull, Plan International Australia’s Head of Advocacy, said:

“Society has failed Eurydice Dixon and left her family and friends dealing with unimaginable pain.

As we mourn her death, we must also look at the role we all have to play to make sure every woman feels free to move around her city safely. We need councils, city planners, police and transport authorities to take all forms of street harassment and violence very seriously.

As a society, we need to work together to address the deep seated inequality that exists. We need to tackle gender norms, we need to improve reporting measures, and we need to encourage bystanders to act. We also need to make sure young women are at the centre of these conversations and that their perceptions shape solutions. 

Turning the tide on assault and street harassment will not happen overnight and it will not happen in isolation. It will take a concerted effort to tackle this problem. But change is possible.

In recent days, we’ve seen love and frustration sweep across the country. We’ve seen just how deep women’s fears and frustrations go. We’ve seen, finally, an intolerance of any suggestion that women are responsible for being attacked.

We must honour the life of Eurydice and stand beside her family and friends as they mourn. We must also stand beside young women who are calling for action, so that their grief and bravery leads to steps to ensure every young woman feels they can safely move about their city.”

In April and May this year, young women shared their experiences of street safety in Plan International’s Free to Be project in Sydney. Almost all young women in Sydney agreed that: 

• They would feel safer if the city was designed with women’s safety and wellbeing in mind (91%)

• City councils have a responsibility to take women’s safety more seriously (96%)

• Public transport authorities should do more to make trains and buses safer for women (81%)

• A cultural shift in male behaviour is required to prevent street harassment (87.6%)

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