Melbourne Pizza Shop Offering Refuge For Women Who Feel Unsafe At Night

'More than welcome to stay'

Article heading image for Melbourne Pizza Shop Offering Refuge For Women Who Feel Unsafe At Night


A Melbourne pizza parlour has offered to be a "safe haven" if women believe they are in danger, in the wake of international student Aiia Massarwe's murder.

Newlands Pizza posted on its Facebook page that anyone who feels in danger, is being followed or attacked, can enter the store and tell staff who will notify police.

"If anybody feels unsafe, they are more than welcome to stay inside until they are at ease and feel comfortable in going back out," the Coburg North store said in a post that has been shared over 1000 times.

The store's owner Faouzi Daghistani says he came up with the idea following Ms Massarwe's murder at Bundoora last week.

"After all the news came out last Friday, a lady came in here. She sat in here for about 90 minutes. I just got the sense something was not quite right. She kept looking outside.


"I realised maybe there was a situation happening that she didn't want to talk about. She was afraid. She wanted somewhere safe to go into.

"That's the reason I decided to put the post up, to let people in this area know if you are feel unsafe, if you feel insecure or there is danger out there feel free to come inside and let us know about it."

Mr Daghistani says as a father of four daughters, he wanted to know they would have somewhere safe to go if there is a problem.

"We have gone through what happened with Jill Meagher, Eurydice Dixon now Aiia Maasarwe. Do we want to add another name to that list?"

Ms Maasarwe, a Palestinian Arab of Israeli citizenship, will be buried in line with her Muslim faith after a funeral in Israel on Wednesday.

Relatives boarded a flight out of Melbourne on Tuesday and a companion of her father Saeed Maasarwe told reporters a selection of items left in tribute to Aiia will be taken to the family's home at Baka al-Gharbiyye, an hour north of Tel Aviv, with plans to use them as part of a shrine.

He told reporters up to 20,000 people were expected to gather in her home town upon her arrival.

Ms Maasarwe had alighted a tram and was walking home after visiting a city comedy club.

Codey Herrmann, 20, has been charged with her rape and murder.

A small vigil was held on Tuesday night near where Ms Maasarwe was murdered, with plans for a memorial tree and plaque at the site.

23 January 2019

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