Mother finds hope amid horror

Rosie Batty at the recent launch of her book in Perth.
Rosie Batty at the recent launch of her book in Perth.

WHEN your son is murdered in front of you by his own father, something changes inside you.

That change for Rosie Batty pushed her to make sure her son Luke didn’t die in vain.

The 2015 Australian of the Year has spent the last year advocating for changes in laws, funding and attitudes when it came to family violence in Australia.

She has been a family violence campaigner since she first addressed the media outside her home after Luke’s death.

On that particular day, she told the media that family violence happened to everyone, no matter how nice a house they had or how intelligent they were.

Since then, Ms Batty has given a voice to the thousands of victims of domestic and family violence and put it on the national agenda.

However, she said there was still a long way to go.

She was in Perth last week to launch her book, A Mother’s Story and took a few moments to sit down with the Southern Gazette.

She said there was a gender inequality issue in Australia, which had flow-on effects.

“Physical violence isn’t the only form of violence,” she said.

“We know there are many forms of violence that exist.”

She also said victim blaming was still a huge issue.

“I still get offended when people ask the question ‘why didn’t she leave?’,” she said.

“That is where we are still at.”

She said responsibility needed to be placed on the perpetrators of violence.

“It is all up to the victim to leave and keep herself safe. It’s up to her find a refuge and get away from the situation,” she said.

“Why isn’t there more on the perpetrator to change his ways?”

In regards to the mental health of the victim, Ms Batty said that it was important to remember that there are services and people who can help.

“I have dealt with this for a long time… but it’s important to remember there is help,” she said.

If you are or know someone experiencing family violence, contact 1800 RESPECT.