The recent news of Jill Meagher's horrifying murder was enough to shock Australia to the core.
Sadly, in 2012, it takes something like this for most women (and men) to twig & say 'I always walk home at night, it could've been me'. And yes, it could've been you.
Even more sadly, this hasn't just been happening in 2012.
I'm going to touch on an oh-so-sensitive topic here, but it needs to be done, because it doesn't matter if it's 1992, 2012, or 2022. There is evil in the world.
And things like this, no matter how shocking, have happened, and will continue to happen. All around us.
And it could happen to you, or someone you love.
Whether you're a friend who couldn't give someone a lift home, which resulted in them desperately taking a lift from someone who would leave them for dead, or a son whose father didn't come home after a night out with friends.
If you could take an extra two minutes before going out to tell someone where you're going to be, and how long you'll be, or always carry a phone with charge, or even take someone else with you if you absolutely must walk home, then DO IT.
Some people may not be significant to you, whether it be the way they live, the way they dress, or the things they do, but people are people and no matter how insignificant they are to you, there's always someone who is going to be left behind bearing the guilt or sadness that their senseless and cruel death has left in their lives.
This isn't just for women.
This can happen to anybody.
This can happen to your daughter, your wife, your sister, that nice girl at the shops, but this can happen to your son, your father, your brother, your uncle.
We should be able to go down to the supermarket and come back with a litre of milk in one piece, but some people don't. Some people don't come home at all, and the knock on the door you're expecting is them because they've got their hands full and can't find their keys, might be the police to tell you that you have missed the chance to say 'goodbye' because someone stole that chance from you.
I've seen this.
I've seen the impact.
I've seen people who say 'this wont happen to me!'
I've been one of those people.
But it can happen to you.
We tell our kids don't talk to strangers.
Don't accept lifts from strangers.
Don't go out at night.
Don't go out alone.
Take your phone.
Think of why we do that.
Then practice what you preach.
You are somebody.
You are important to somebody else.
No matter who you are,
We're you're from.
You are important.
And you need to be safe.
I just want to take a moment to express my sincere sadness & sympathy to the family and friends of Jill Meagher.
She didn't deserve this.
Neither did any of you.
If her death was for any reason, may it be that someone else's family and friends do not have to go through what you have and will continue to.
May she rest in peace and may you find peace in yourselves.