Vale Aiia Masarwe

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Vale Aiia Masarwe

Hi Forte Friends.

I want to take a moment to share something with you. It was a thought that woke me up in the middle of the night. I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I flipped open my phone and had a brain dump. I wanted to remember the emotions I was feeling and the words that were swirling around in my mind (you should ALWAYS have a notepad beside your bed or notes app on your phone for this exact reason!).

Last month, thousands of mourners attended the funeral of Aiia Masarwe in her hometown of Baka al-Gharbiyye, an hour north of Tel Aviv in northern Israel. It was one week after she was killed after getting off a tram near La Trobe University in Bundoora, in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

As we know, a man was charged days later.

There was an OUTCRY from the public for another life cut short by a man allegedly known to police. HEARTACHE for a family who lost a daughter, sister, friend on the other side of the world. ANGER at the senseless loss at the hands of a violent individual. DISAPPOINTMENT that we are once again, as women, told WHAT TO DO TO BE SAFE rather than focus on the actions of the perpetrators.

All these emotions are valid. Every day we are hopeful that we will see ACTUAL change from our legal system, our governments and the attitudes of our community. Time and time again we are angered that these events are still the top story on the news. They are the headline on the front page of the paper. What can we do NOW?

I don’t have the solution to world peace. I truly wish I did. I’m tired and saddened to see another innocent life lost. But I did have an idea, a contribution we could do right now. This is the thought that woke me up in the middle of the night.

Let’s move forward, with purpose, with inner strength and self-empowerment. I want everyone to say, right here, right now “I deserve the right to BE”. To BE here and to BE loved.

My name is Leanne Stamps. I am an Aunty, a best friend, a world traveller, a coffee enthusiast, a lover and a thinker. I work out in Ocean Grove at 6am and I go out after work in Geelong after 8pm. I have the right to be all these things, to do all these things AND I deserve to be safe.

I want you, the YOU reading this article, to do the same. Stand up. Speak up. Speak out. BE. You have the right to BE seen. BE heard. BE loved. BE respected. BE present. BE represented. You can BE a voice.

Because what PAINS me the most is that women, and men, have been stripped of their right to BE here with us. They lost their voice at the hands of someone else. People like Aiia have lost that chance at life. They deserved to BE just like you and me.

And that’s just not right.

Stampsy x

Stampsy is on the socials so get around her @lee_stamps on Insta & StampsyKROCK on the book!