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Melbourne went into panic last week and joined together in an effort to find missing person Jill Meagher who was reported missing on Saturday. As the days passed by, and Jill still wasn’t found, people lost hope that she wouldn’t be found alive and social media went into overload.

Jill Meagher: Went missing on her way home on Saturday 22/9/2012

It does make me proud to be a Melbournian when you see so many people caring and taking interest in awful events like this and trying to boost people’s awareness about safety problems in our city.  About 30,000 people turned out on Sunday in a peaceful march against violence against women.

Community march in Sydney Road, Brunswick, Sunday 30/9/2012.

Although the death of this young woman is so horrible, and I’m not saying it isn’t for a second, I wonder where were the marches against racism for Nitin Garj, the 21 year old Indian student who was fatally stabbed on the way to work in 2010, and for the 91 people murdered in Victoria in 2011? Only 22% of these people were killed by strangers, but it is the randomness of these crimes that makes us all feel unsafe. The reality is that horrible events like this can happen every day!

Nitin Garj, Indian student murdered in Melbourne.

I’m not saying this march shouldn’t have happened; what I am saying is that maybe this much attention should be given to other peaceful purposes as well! If everyone devoted this much time and attention to other problems that occur in Melbourne, we could potentially have a city that really is the “most liveable” in the world.

In the same week that Jill went missing, there were at least 4 other people reported missing in Melbourne. We barely heard about these people, there were hardly any Facebook or Twitter mentions about them, and certainly not as many resources devoted to finding them.

However unfortunate and tragic this event is, it should not define Melbourne. This is an exceptionally rare event and, despite this, Melbourne continues to be one of the safest cities in the world. There is nothing anyone can do to get rid of crime completely, but in comparison to some other cities , Melbourne is doing pretty well on the safety front.

Link: 25 most dangerous cities in America

http://www.businessinsider.com/most-dangerous-cities-2011-5#

Jill’s story should teach us to be aware of what is happening around us and at least to try and avoid walking home alone in the early hours of the morning (especially if you are a woman).

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