— Trigger Warning —
The other day, I read an article by Jane Gilmore, discussing that there was no national outrage or outcry, and little had been said in the media, about the fact that just the other week in Australia, six women were murdered in five days.
Six women were murdered in five days.
As a result, I am working toward and planning to dedicate several Raising Awareness slots to the women who have sadly lost their lives in 2018, in Australia, to domestic violence. Hopefully, if we are reminded each week of their faces, their names, their lives, we will get over our compassion fatigue and start to give a damn about violence against women.
I would also like to take this opportunity to note that during this time, White Ribbon has decided that it wants to be “agnostic” when it comes to women seeking safe and legal abortions. They recently, and very publicly, admitted that they were putting money before the lives of women. White Ribbon has always been problematic as fuck, but I want you to blow this shit open. As White Ribbon and Scott Morrison and our Australian government tries to backtrack for openly fucking women over in 2018 and publicly admitting money meant more to them than women’s health, I urge you to crucify and bury both. I urge you to show Australia, our PM, and our government that WOMEN’S RIGHTS FUCKING MATTER AND WE’RE SICK OF WOMEN DYING AND OUR GOVERNMENT DOING JACKSHIT.
As always, there will be hotline information at the bottom of the page, and you are always welcome to contact me on Facebook or DM me on my Instagram @thingscarlaloves if you need to talk to someone.
If you are aware that someone might be in danger, I implore you to please speak up. You may be wrong, but you may also save someone’s life.
One my favourite TV shows ever is The Fall, and if you’ve ever read my novel, You Know You Want It, you may even know what quote I’m about to reference.
“The media loves to divide women into virgins and vamps, angels or whores. Let’s not encourage them.”
You see it all the time. Women’s worth is intrinsically tied to our patriarchal society, if a woman is deemed unworthy (note that these offenses can come in the form of Lynette Daley’s, who is ignored because of the colour of her skin; they can come in the form of someone being too old or ugly enough to warrant a front-page photo (but those women are also reminded how lucky they are for being raped, because one should be grateful for such a trauma); or, worst of all, it can be a myriad of things but it all boils down to the same thing: You aren’t a victim enough.
You were drinking, asking for it, kissing him, flirting, something.
There is always something that makes someone not a victim enough, and its those victims that disappear – we never hear about them, or they’re a footnote, not worthy of disturbing anyone’s day of.
After all, it’s not like we have an epidemic of violence against women in Australia or anything concerning like that.
Unfortunately for Nicole Cartwright, she is the wrong kind of victim, so despite the fact that her killer still hasn’t been caught (similar to Toyah Cordingley’s case), she’s received very little coverage, and some of the coverage of her has not been kind.
I need to make something very clear: Nicole Cartwright’s murder matters just as much as anyone else’s.
She matters just as much as the ones I haven’t mentioned yet, or the media hasn’t covered, let alone named.
I don’t know Nicole’s story. What I do know is that, whether she had fetishes or not, whatever her explorations on new dating sites revealed, they are not responsible for her murder.
She did not ‘get mixed up with the wrong person’ or ‘meet the wrong person’ because she ‘wasn’t careful enough’.
She died because someone chose to murder her.
A woman who was searching for love after a break up with her boyfriend, who was on a weight loss journey, who passionately loved dogs, who was described as a ‘free spirit’ by friends, was beaten to death, among other traumatic injuries, before being abandoned in a Sydney park (the forensic evidence available suggested she was murdered elsewhere before being crudely dumped).
Her body had deteriorated so badly that police had to rely on forensic science to properly identify her.
There are very few pieces of evidence, and police currently have no real suspects.
There are no vigils for her, like there were for Eurydice.
I remember Jill Meagher’s brutal murder in September of 2012. It’s not imprinted – I can’t remember much about the date or the time or what I was doing in September of 2012. Despite teaching Jill Meagher’s murder to my students before, I had to Google when she was murdered.
But I have never forgotten the coverage. I’ve never forgotten witnessing the CCTV footage a shop camera caught as Jill did a pause, and a double step back, before hesitantly moving forward to her would-be murderer, a feeling and experience I’m certain millions of women can relate to, before she was raped and murdered.
I remembered the public outcry, the wide search as police desperately searched for clues (which is actually an incredibly intense police investigation, which you can watch here if you’d like to learn more.)
I remember the newspapers, the magazines, the countless reports – there’s a reason why I’ve taught Jill Meagher, and one of those reasons is that there’s been countless documentaries and polls and reports on her.
Just like I remember Eurydice Dixon.
I imagine in a few years’ time, like with Jill Meagher, I’ll remember Eurydice’s name, too, even if I have to look up when.
Because those victims, even though they each received some form of victim blaming, Australia cared.
But because Nicole Cartwright happened not to be the perfect victim, her murderer still hasn’t been caught, which means that there is a murderer currently roaming Sydney, someone the police cannot yet directly tie to Nicole (despite the media’s dismissal that it was probably someone she was ‘involved’ within a Tinder-Gone-Bad date, because that makes it somehow suddenly okay because Nicole should have been aware of the dangers of dating apps but also not afraid of the men she was meeting because #notallmen, except in case she was murdered, then she should have known).
I honestly don’t care who Nicole was sleeping with or not sleeping with at the time of her murder, and unless it’s relevant to the case, it’s no one’s goddamn business but the police’s, Nicole’s and the people who were directly involved. I don’t give a damn about anything except for stopping slut-shaming and fixing rape culture.
So let’s remember Nicole.
Who loved dogs.
Who was a free spirit.
Who was bubbly and beloved.
Who are media and our government deems unworthy of our time.
In Emergencies: 000
Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78
— Sources —
Bachelor of Education: English and History
Diploma in Criminology and Profiling
Diploma in Forensic Science
Background in law and psychology
Teacher 7+ years
Background in special needs, learning support – other specific teaching fields that required hands-on development.
NB: This is a declaration of the background of my personal knowledge, collected over the years via a professional form of education and development. Some of these take the form of actual degrees and others come in the form of necessary professional development. When doing your own, you should always try and verify the person’s credibility. My credibility, nor anyone else’s, is not with their education. Everyone has biases and no one is infallible. I am deliberately including some of my background education to highlight this, because you should be questioning information you are receiving.