So far, as details unfold of the two victims from Tuesday’s horrific knife rampage in Sydney, we know one was a woman who was stabbed in the back while walking in the city.
And we are being told the other victim, who died, was 24-year-old female escort Michaela Dunn.
She was believed to be a sex worker.
That was her job. That’s what she did to earn a living, and that is what she will be forever defined by. Her job, as I am writing this, is the sensational headlines on most tabloid news sites.
This is not an argument into the politics and laws of sex work. Sex workers have always existed and will always exist. We’re not here to debate the ethics, morals and laws of the adult industry.
Check out the woman who got a job as a sex worker because it turned on her husband, or read about the devastating link between violence against women and plastic bags.
But what I am here to debate is the relevance of her profession.
The fact that as her body lies cold, her family and friends, who may not have known about her job, now have to deal with grief, possible guilt and considerable shock at the path she decided to take.
Or that — even worse — her identity doesn’t really matter because she was just a sex worker.
Or that the public, hungry for salacious details, are tut-tutting at the danger of sex work, how of course she was going to get killed one day, putting herself in such a dangerous position like that … It wouldn’t have had happened to a ‘normal’ woman, would it?
When Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson’s lives were tragically cut short by extremist Man Haron Monis in the 2014 Sydney Lindt Cafe hostage crisis, the CBD became a shrine; the pavements filled with flowers, heartfelt cards and children carrying candles.
Katrina was a barrister and Tori was the manager at the establishment where he was killed. Was his job to blame for being killed?
Sex work can be dangerous. So can being an Uber Eats driver.
I’ve had far more frightening experiences with men I meet in my personal life then I did as an escort.
But enough about me — this is about her. The young beautiful woman who spent her last moments on this earth in terror. Whose life was cruelly cut short. The woman who is someone’s daughter, maybe someone’s sister, mother, definitely someone’s friend.
A woman who was in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person, regardless of her age, gender, skin colour and job.
This is for her.