Today I am struggling to make sense of two senseless murders. How can a mum, Karlie Jade Pearce-Stevenson and her 2 year old daughter, Khandalyce Kiara Pearce, disappear without anyone noticing? How do their lives literally vanish, with no-one – not a parent, not a grandparent, not a teacher, or a doctor or an auntie, or a friend – questioning the space they’ve left behind?
This latest violent incident will no doubt trigger fresh calls to address violence against women and girls, as they should! But as a community we owed these two much more. As a community we have failed Karlie and Khandalyce. We have looked the other way and now we confront the traumatic final chapter of their story. We need to shift consciousness from ‘Not in my backyard’ indifference to ‘If you see something, say something’ engagement.’ In a just community we look out for our most vulnerable and offer them help. When we wash our hands of neglect, abuse and violence in our midst we consign women and children to fear and pain. We can and must do better.
The views expressed on this page are those of Dr Ree Boddé and do not necessarily represent the views of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne or its program partners Anglicare Victoria and the Brotherhood of St Laurence. While all reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this page, no liability is assumed for any errors or omissions.