The outpouring of anger, fear and collective grief from women has been steady and predictable. So too has the steady and predictable stream of advice for women to ‘keep safe’, be vigilant and ‘take responsibility’ for their safety. It is not the first time that police, and politicians, have offered this kind of advice. In 2015, after the killing of Melbourne teenager Masa Vukotic, Homicide squad chief Detective Inspector Mick Hughes said on national radio that ‘particularly females […] shouldn’t be alone in parks’.
Grease-black, the Californian sea lion moves through the pool like a slick of oil pushed by a strong current. Propelled by rear flippers in a momentous leap, a halo of water spins from its glossy head, and, as the awkward mound flops down, a large splash rises to an elated chorus of laughter. A cool bead hits my arm. The smell in the air is cold fish mixed with the scent left in a room after a dog has been bathed.