Rosie Batty wants to see stronger leadership on violence issues.
Rosie Batty wants to see stronger leadership on violence issues. Warren Lynam

'No strong leadership' on domestic violence: Batty

ROSIE Batty has pleaded for Australian governments to show stronger leadership and commit more money to eradicating domestic violence.

The Australian of the Year made the passionate call during the Our Watch media awards launch at the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday

"This is the biggest social issue that we have and why is it that we have only just started to talk about it," Ms Batty, who's 11-year-old son Luke was murdered by her estranged husband in 2014, said.

"We are not seeing strong leadership on this issue.

"We are seeing conflict, on one hand giving voice to support but on other hand there is a lack of funding and cuts to essential frontline services."

Anti-domestic violence advocates say 38 Australian women have been killed by their partners or ex-partners since the start of the year.

APN Australian Regional Media's Terror at Home campaign, published in this and 11 other regional daily newspapers since February, aims to reduce domestic violence.

The campaign includes a petition calling for specialised domestic violence magistrates courts in Queensland and New South Wales and the rollout of respectful relationship classes across public schools.

Our Watch is a non-political Commonwealth-funded national organisation charged with raising awareness of violence against women and children.

Award entries close on July 8 and winners will be announced in September. 

Rosie Batty speaks about domestic violence for International Women's Day. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily
Rosie Batty speaks about domestic violence for International Women's Day. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily Warren Lynam

Rosie Batty calls on media to help end domestic violence

JOURNALISTS are powerful weapons in the war on domestic violence.

Australian of the Year Rosie Batty delivered this message during the Our Watch media awards launch at the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday.

Anti-domestic violence advocates say 38 Australian women have been killed by their partners or ex-partners since the start of the year.

While the epidemic is gaining traction across a range of news organisations, Ms Batty urged journalists to "influence public policy and public opinion" with quality reporting.

During her speech, Ms Batty revealed what it was like to face reporters just one day after her ex-partner killed her only child, Luke, at a Victorian cricket ground in February 2014.

"I was initially going to tell the journalists all to go away, but soon realised the opportunity I had to name family violence, highlight its prevalence and tell the nation that something must be done," she said.

"Most journalists were shocked that I was so unequivocal about framing Luke's murder in the context of family violence."

READ MORE: 'You have the right to live free of fear': DV victim

Ms Batty said news organisations like Australian Regional Media must keep the focus on domestic violence.

ARM's Terror at Home campaign, published in this and 11 other regional daily newspapers since February, aims to reduce domestic violence.

The campaign includes a petition calling for specialised domestic violence magistrate's courts in Qld and NSW and the roll out of respectful relationship classes across all public schools.

Our Watch is a non-political Commonwealth-funded national organisation charged with raising awareness of violence against women and children.

Entry to the organisation's media awards close on July 8 and winners will be announced in September. 

EARLIER:

AUSTRALIAN of the Year Rosie Batty will today use her National Press Club address to push the media, particularly journalists, to "help stop violence before it starts".

Ms Batty was subject to intense media glare after her estranged partner murdered her son Luke in 2014.

She said while of her experience with the media was "largely positive".

"The day Luke was murdered I crashed in my bedroom and woke the next day to people discussing that there was media outside, and I should be protected from them.

"I was initially going to tell them to go away, but quickly realised the opportunity I had to name family violence, highlight its prevalence and tell the nation that something must be done.

"And I was very open with journalists, so they didn't try to fill in gaps in the story, which meant a platform of mutual respect was established from the outset. This has made a huge difference in my journey with the media."

As ambassador for national anti-violence group Our Watch, Ms Batty is launching the Our Watch Awards to "recognise and encourage exemplary reporting to end violence against women".

"Violence against women is now out of the shadows and into the spotlight.
"So today, I'm urging the Australian media to join me in preventing violence against women and their children.

"Help the Australian public continue to join the national conversation. Together, we can stop violence before it starts."

Entries are now open to the Our Watch Awards through the Walkley Foundation website.

They are due to close July 8.



Rider convicted after doing a wheelie in front of police

Rider convicted after doing a wheelie in front of police

The Sunday peace of a small town was shattered by noisy dirt bikes

Fish missing for 14 years rediscovered in Bremer catchment

premium_icon Fish missing for 14 years rediscovered in Bremer catchment

The 90m fish ladder at Berry's Weir, Yamanto was finished in 2016

Local Partners