An up-and-coming young comedian was raped and murdered while she walked home from a stand-up gig in Australia — sparking a nationwide outcry over violence against women, according to reports Friday.
“I’m almost home safe. HBU?,” Eurydice Dixon, 22, wrote in a Facebook message — just moments before the attack, The Age News reported.
The comic had just done a set at Highlander bar in Melbourne — and was blocks from her apartment — when the attacker struck around midnight Tuesday, according to the local paper. Her body was found on a football field roughly three hours later.
Jaymes Todd, 19, later turned himself in and was charged with rape and murder, according to BBC News.
Heartbroken friends remembered her as bright and funny.
“She had a great passion for women’s issues and social justice issues and she drew upon them a lot in the material that she produced as a comic,” fellow comedian Nicky Barry told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Performer Alex Lee tweeted, “My first stand up set when I was the same age as Eurydice Dixon, was about being afraid walking home at night. Making jokes about it was a way to feel slightly empowered instead of small and frightened. Mourning for this young comedian who was entitled to feel safe.”
Victoria state police later advised women in the area to “consider their personal safety and be aware of their surroundings” — sparking backlash over victim-blaming, according to the UK Telegraph.
“When young men are tragically killed in one-punch attacks, an entire city has its nightlife shut down,” tweeted activist Elly Baxter, referencing a recent crackdown. “When a young woman is brutally raped and murdered, women are told to take responsibility for their own safety.”
The country’s domestic Violence Victoria chief executive Fiona McCormack added, “We really need to challenge the concept of that male sense of entitlement about using violence,” according to the Telegraph.
She added: “When we think about crime in our community, any type of violent crime particularly, we have an issue around gender. It’s something about our culture.”
The country has “a disturbingly high rate of violence against women,” according to Australia’s human rights commission.
Roughly 1 in 5 women over the age of 15 has experienced sexual violence or threats of sexual violence, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
The comic’s death echoed the Melbourne murder of Jill Meagher, which prompted a 30,000-strong peace march in 2012.
Todd will appear in court again Oct. 3.