The only why that we should be asking
I'VE laughed at the novelties that come with trying to find my soulmate on a dating app.
Yet in recent days my home country has been left in shock with the worst possible tragedy that can come from meeting with a stranger for a beer. But it is so much more than that.
Grace Millane, last seen alive on the eve of her 22nd birthday, was backpacking through New Zealand on the overseas experience of a lifetime when she disappeared.
A week later her body was discovered in the Waitakere Ranges and a 26-year-old man was taken into custody.
That's when sources told national news outlet, Stuff, the pair met on a dating app.
Mere moments later people began to ask why.
Not why she had been brutally murdered.
Not why she couldn't have been allowed to remain safe.
But why would she meet a stranger from a dating app.
Why are women still not safe? Why do we feel day-to-day fear simply because of our gender?
Grace Millane is not alone in her tragic ending.
Australia has seen Eurydice Dixon. Queensland has seen Toyah Cordingley. The Sunshine Coast witnessed first-hand the tragic passing of Larissa Beilby.
We teach our daughters these names, but we don't teach our sons. Yet they need to be remembered and honoured by all.
What do these women have in common?
They were brutally murdered when they had every right to remain safe.
There is no other why we should be asking, other than why these men continue to commit acts of violence against women?
I'm tired of spending every day in fear, trying to protect myself from danger.
I'm tired of asking my friends if they got home safe after we meet for drinks, a movie or even coffee.
I'm tired of walking the long way home, of parking my car under bright lights, of clenching my fists with my keys wedged in-between my fingers awaiting an attacker.
I have so much anger, hurt and terror.
I'm fearful for women of the world of any race, culture or sexuality. We hope for a day where it's safe for us to walk the streets but even now, it's not.
I'm taking this as my cue. If you are ever in a position where you feel unsafe; message me and let me know. If you need a ride home at any hour of the night; I will come and pick you up or I will order you an Uber. If someone's giving you strange vibes on public transport, let me know.
It shouldn't be our responsibility to have our guards up at all times. But we have to.
They say you're most likely to be murdered by someone you know. I'm still not sure how you can prepare yourself for that. I hope I never have to know. The reality is that if I don't, I could be the next name splashed across international headlines.
I could have been Grace Millane, Eurydice Dixon, Toyah Cordingley or Larissa Beilby.
We all could have.