In a bittersweet moment yesterday, Rosie Batty was named Australian of the year for campaigning against family violence. To those not in the know, Ms Batty’s son Luke was murdered a year ago by his biological father. Since Luke’s death, Ms Batty has spoken up about domestic violence and the need for a cultural change. She has been immensely courageous to find her voice in the wake of her personal tragedy.
Domestic violence is rife even in 2015. Yet, not everyone speaks about it. Not everyone knows about it. These are stats that you should know:
One in three women experiences violence at the hand of someone they know.
On average, one woman is killed every week by an intimate partner.
One in four children has been exposed to domestic violence.
These statistics are real. And they are scary. Yet, there aren’t enough services to support women and children in a violent environment. It seems hypocritical for the prime minister to present Ms Batty with this award while at the same time cutting funding to women’s refuges in the last 12 months. Yes, in spite of knowing that one in three women experiences violence at the hands of someone they know, there still isn’t enough being done to help them.
Hopefully, with Rosie Batty’s help, our governments will be able to see some sense and actually do something around domestic violence. Hopefully, they will begin to take it more seriously. Sadly, the deaths are far too many. And an AVO is just not going to cut it.
People need to realise that domestic violence is not just about physical violence. It is emotional, psychological, and sexual. We may see the physical scars but we are not always aware of the psychological ones. Sadly, these are the women who need others to speak out for them more than ever. These are the women who need to be given hope.
If you know a friend, family member or neighbour in a violent relationship, do something. Say something. Don’t just remain silent. Sure, it might happen behind closed doors but you are still a human being. And I think as human beings, we need to look out for other human beings. Plain and simple.
We all need to talk about domestic violence.
We all need to stand up against it.
Rosie Batty has started the conversation. Let’s continue it.
Until next time,