Sat. May 25th, 2024

Ballarat comes together to mourn and fight back against the crisis of gendered violence with a powerful message: “Enough”

Jamie Roberts By Jamie Roberts May25,2024
A community grieving three women stolen from their families and friends and allegedly murdered by men have been urged to break the cycle of violence.
A rally on Friday featured more than a thousand women and their allies marching through the streets of Ballarat demanding an end to male violence.

Three women from the regional city — Samantha Murphy, Rebecca Young and Hannah McGuire — have all allegedly died at the hands of men since February.

Photos of three women on stads, with people in the background

Three women from Ballarat have all allegedly died at the hands of men in recent months. Source: AAP / Con Chronis

“Enough is enough,” the crowd chanted, as they expressed their anger and sadness over the lives loss.

Murphy left her Ballarat home for a regular run on the morning of February 4 and never returned.

A renewed search for Murphy’s body at Enfield State Park, about 30km from her home, on Thursday and Friday proved unsuccessful despite new information arising.

About a fortnight after Murphy’s disappearance, Ballarat mother-of-five Rebecca Young was allegedly stabbed to death by her partner.
The body of 23-year-old Hannah McGuire was found in a burnt-out car at Scarsdale, about 25km south of Ballarat, on 5 April.
One in four Australian women and roughly one in 14 men have been subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner since age 15, Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows.

Speaking to the crowd, gendered violence prevention organisation chief executive Patty Kinnersly said the community had the power to change course and help stop violence against women.

A person holds up a sign that reads "Say Their Names" with other rally attendees in the foreground.

Crowd members chanted “enough is enough” during the rally. Source: AAP / Con Chronis

“It is the way we speak to the children in our lives,” she said.

“That we don’t get caught up on gender stereotypes that girls can only do this and boys can only do that.
“We don’t limit our children — and we need to start talking to our children like that.”

Federal Ballarat MP Catherine King said it was important to ensure boys were being taught how to treat women with respect.

“How we raise and care for our boys matters,” she said.
The families and friends of the three murdered women addressed the crowd, remembering each of them as incredible people who brought joy to their lives.
Murphy’s husband Mick Murphy thanked the community and the police for their tireless work trying to find Samantha.

“The support here behind the women and (against) violence is incredible,” he told the crowd on Friday.

A man speaking into a microphone.

Samantha Murphy’s husband, Mick Murphy, thanked the community for their efforts searching for Samantha. Source: AAP / Con Chronis

Young’s sister Jessica hoped the rally could inspire the change that could save others while calling for more funding for victim support programs.

McGuire’s friends described her as an amazing woman, friend and hype girl who will be sorely missed.

Women holding candles.

One in four Australian women and roughly one in 14 men have been subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner since age 15, Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows. Source: AAP / Con Chronis

Rally organiser Sissy Austin, who was herself savagely attacked while on a run in 2023, said the community was there to wrap themselves around the families experiencing unimaginable grief.

“Us Ballarat women, we’re coming together to stand in solidarity, to feel less alone and to show the country we’re united,” she told the Australian Associated Press.

“We’re here to fight for our rights to live safely in our community for generations to come.

Jamie Roberts

By Jamie Roberts

Jamie is an award-winning investigative journalist with a focus on uncovering corruption and advocating for social justice. With over a decade of experience in the field, Jamie's work has been instrumental in bringing about positive change in various communities.

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2 thoughts on “Ballarat comes together to mourn and fight back against the crisis of gendered violence with a powerful message: “Enough””
  1. Do you think the recent tragedies in Ballarat will lead to more concrete actions being taken to address and prevent gendered violence in the community?

  2. The article highlights a crucial issue that demands urgent action. It’s time for everyone to stand up against gendered violence and work together to create a safer community for all. Together, we can make a difference and break the cycle of violence once and for all.

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