Victoria Police’s chief commissioner says officers did not mean to "victim blame" following the rape and murder of Melbourne comedian Eurydice Dixon.
Victoria Police’s chief commissioner has backed comments made by a senior officer following Eurydice Dixon’s death, saying police did not mean to "victim blame".
At a press conference about the Melbourne comedian's rape and murder last week, Superintendent David Clayton said that people needed to take responsibility for their own safety.
The comments resulted in a barrage of online criticism, with Supt Clayton accused of putting the onus on women rather than violent male perpetrators.
“It was about trying to get the community just to be aware of what’s around you at the moment …But it didn’t really come out that way,” Chief Commissioner Ashton told ABC News Breakfast radio on Monday.
“We weren’t about victim blaming and we certainly agree that, absolutely, that women and men, for that matter, should have the right to walk around public spaces when they want to walk around them and do so safely.”
Ms Dixon was raped and killed on her way home from a comedy show at the Highlander Bar in the CBD last Tuesday night.
She reportedly sent her boyfriend a message saying "I'm almost home safe", but never made it.
Jaymes Todd, 19, later handed himself into police and was charged with her rape and murder.
Vigils will be held across Australia on Monday night to remember Ms Dixon.
People are expected to gather in Melbourne and regional Victoria, as well as Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and Launceston on Monday.
The biggest will be in Melbourne. The Reclaim Princes Park vigil is expected to see thousands sit quietly on the grass at Carlton North.
Attendees are asked to quietly reflect for 30 minutes from 5.30pm as the lights are turned off.
Households across Australia are also being asked ot light a candle and place it in their windows or turn on their front lights in memory of Ms Dixon.
The vigils come as a makeshift memorial for Ms Dixon was vandalised. Police say paint markings were found at the site of the memorial in Princes Park in Carlton during routine patrols about 3.50am on Monday.
A number of items were seized from the scene and the dog squad has been through the area.
"Police will ensure the markings are removed as soon as possible and the investigation is ongoing," a Victoria Police spokesman said.