As I covered a candle-lit vigil for domestic violence victim Sarah Brown last week, one comment resonated like no other.
”We hope we never have to be here again.”
It was said with sincerity; it was almost a plea.
And for good reason; Ms Brown was another in a string of women allegedly murdered at the hands of current and former loved ones in Australia.
Sadly, there’s no end in sight.
Working as a journalist has its perks: you get free tickets to matches in whatever sport takes your fancy. You get to meet people you grew up idolising, and catch a glimpse behind the political veil. On the flip side, the very worst parts of humanity are laid bare before your eyes every day.
If writing about murders, sexual assaults and the like has taught me anything, it’s that evil exists and it resides right in our backyards.
You can argue about motivations and circumstances until you’re blue in the face – the cause and effect associated with disadvantage and intergenerational trauma.
I’ll never understand the act of so violently and selfishly destroying another person’s life.
Domestic violence has been described as a scourge on our society – a plague in other words. It’s an apt description.
We should persevere with our efforts as a community to rid our lives of this disease. There’s no doubt we’re fighting an uphill battle.
Personal goals aside, it’s everyone’s mission to leave the world a better place for their children and grandchildren. But that’s not all we should do.
Another thing that hits home as a young journalist, or more to the point, someone in their mid-20s, is that you never know what’s coming in life – good or bad.
Whether it be at the hands of a loved one, a stranger, cancer, an accident or natural causes, death comes for us all.
That makes it all the more important not to live in fear.
Sarah Brown left behind five children and one grandchild, who she no doubt loved deeply every waking moment.
Evil will always exist – but so will love.
Thankfully, history has shown it’s love that tends to win that age-old battle. There’s more good people than bad in this world. Let’s keep it that way.
Heath Parkes-Hupton is a reporter for Fairfax Media in north-west Sydney.