Melbourne, Australia (CNN)The murder of a 22-year-old Australian comedian has ignited a debate in the country about the safety of women and the right to be able to walk home at night without fear of attack.
Eurydice Dixon: Tributes and anger as Australia mourns murdered comedian
Eurydice Dixon was raped and killed as she walked home from a performance Tuesday night through a popular park in the inner-city Melbourne suburb of Carlton North.
The attack stunned the community not only because it happened in what's considered a relatively safe city, but because of the police advice that followed.
After informing residents there would be 24-hour patrols at Princes Park where Dixon's body was found, Victoria Police Superintendent David Clayton advised residents to "take responsibility for your own safety."
Some interpreted his words as victim-blaming, that Dixon was somehow at fault for walking home by herself at night.
A 19-year-old-man was charged with her rape and murder Thursday.
Among tributes to the young comedian there was growing outcry on social media who called for the blame to be placed squarely on her attacker.
"When I was a 22-year-old comedian, I constantly walked home from gigs along in the middle of the night because I couldn't afford the tram fare, let alone taxis," broadcaster Meshel Laurie said on Twitter. "Should we allow murderous rapists and poverty to ensure we're locked inside our entire lives?"
Bernard Keane, a leading political writer based in Canberra said the "victim blaming" from police was "garbage."
"Men don't let women be safe anywhere," he tweeted.
Influential Australian feminist writer Clementine Ford said it wasn't a lack of "situational awareness" that ended the life of Dixon. "It was a person who made a conscious decision to exercise extreme violence against her," she said.
Victoria Police Minister Lisa Neville addressed the outcry in a news conference Friday, saying the role of the police was to ensure people are aware of the risks around them.
"Just as it's touched and hurt our community and the family it also touches our police as well, that's why they want to make sure women understand the risks while we fight to ensure we have safety within our communities and our homes," she said.