Signs indicate community will no longer tolerate violence

The Courier has greeted the news of the weekend’s violence in Scarsdale like most of the community with a combination of shock and horror.

 Apart from some rumours that are currently circulating and the occasional kneejerk response for punitive justice and revenge, abhorrence at the consequences of violence is one shared by a vast majority of the community. 

This is more acutely felt when the violence is unleashed on a boy who had his life before him. 

The Courier had visited Scarsdale three days before the incident and recorded the singular pride of the community in the face of a possible downgrade of its nominal status due to a new statistical regime.  

What the coincidental visit showed is the ineffable strength of many smaller communities and the dignity with which they carry their interdependence and resilience. 

While our first thoughts and sympathy are for the family and friends of the poor victim, The Courier would also like to extend its condolences to a community that no doubt is reeling under this bloody visitation. 

Scarsdale will not be the first town to lament that the first time it makes it into the national media is for all the wrong reasons. 

Let us hope its reputation will be built on the small town pride we have witnessed and not the grim echoes of the weekend’s episode. 

The particulars of the incident and its repercussions are now for the courts to reveal and adjudicate upon but let us hope that the tragedy of the individual incident can transcend the callous news cycle and not fade with time into another meaningless tragedy. 

This may seem a vain hope but there is some sign that in the wider population a growing response to violence could be bringing about a change. 

Last year the death of Jill Meagher brought people onto the streets of Melbourne in a spontaneous sense of outrage against violence against women.  The incidents do continue but awareness has been raised. 

The shocking story of a gang rape and murder from India looks set to galvanise a vast nation and even change entrenched attitudes.

 Is it too much to hope that the community sense of shock will reinforce a commitment to actively end the violence from which no good can come.

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