Snap rally held after alleged murders of Samantha Murhpy, Rebecca Young and Hannah McGuire

Hundreds of residents are expected to gather in the Victorian city of Ballarat tonight to call for action after three women were allegedly murdered in separate incidents in the community in a matter of months.

The event will kick off at 5.30pm at the Ballarat Train Station, with community members “from near and far” called to attend.

Community members attended a vigil for Samantha Murphy last month. (Jason South)

“This year, three Ballarat Women have been murdered. All women who belong to our community and who should still be here with us today,” the event description said.

“Women are living on eggshells, living on edge. Putting on the runners and going for a run feels like risk-taking behaviour, it is not and we shouldn’t be feeling like this.

“It is not normal for our beautiful bushlands to become known for a place where men’s violence is perpetrated on our bodies.

“Men’s violence needs to be called out.”

Samantha Murphy
Samantha Murphy was allegedly killed earlier this year. (Supplied)

‘Women killed belong to our community’

She never returned home.

Police found the 42-year-old’s body inside a home in Sebastopol alongside her partner.

City of Ballarat councillor Belinda Coates said the community had been “devastated and shaken” over the past three months.

“We can’t shy away from the fact that this is a problem for Ballarat,” she said.

“People are asking for answers and they want to take action and that’s what’s behind people wanting to rally tonight and come together to support each other in solidarity to stand together.”

Hannah McGuire was found in a burnt-out car last week. (Nine)

At least 18 women have been allegedly murdered across Australia since January 1, with three of those women from Ballarat.

And on average, one woman is killed every nine days by a current or former partner, according to violence prevention watchdog Our Watch.

Women’s Health Grampians chief executive Marion Hendren previously told 9News it was time to call out inappropriate comments and actions in the community.

“I think this community is shocked by what has happened in the last two months, she said.

“This is not a Ballarat problem or issue.”

Chaithanya “Swetha” Madhagani was discovered in a wheelie bin on an isolated road last month. (9News)

Police are continuing to investigate her death and no charges have been laid. 

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan told media earlier this week that the death of any woman was “unacceptable”.

“It has to stop,” she said.

“Not even 100 days into 2024. But already in Australia, 18 women have been murdered.”

“That’s not just some cold statistic – it’s 18 women who’ve had their lives stolen from them.”

Everyone is welcome at the rally tonight – with attendees urged to bring signs, banners and candles.

“We must stand in solidarity, to fight for justice and to feel less alone. This is a national crisis and should be treated as such,” the event said.

National Domestic Violence Service: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).

If you are in immediate danger call triple zero (000).

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