Domestic violence: Rosie Batty appeals for more media freedom to report on family violence.

Anti-domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty says the media should be given more freedom to report on the impact of family violence.

Ms Batty told the National Press Club in Canberra print and broadcast journalists had been restricted from reporting on the horrifying events happening inside homes.

“The media see family violence as a topic worth reporting on. Now it’s newsworthy, but it wasn’t always the case,” she said.

rosie batty family violence reporting
Rosie Batty during her talk at the National Press Club in Canberra. Image via ABC.

“The number of articles devoted to the issue of violence against women currently exceeds anything we have seen before.


“Frontline services who often felt frustrated by the lack of media attention regarding what was happening behind closed doors are telling me the same thing.”

Ms Batty explained that her experience with journalists after her estranged partner murdered her son Luke had been largely positive, although she had been warned the media would “turn on her”‘.

Ms Batty, Australian of the Year, launched new media awards to recognise and encourage excellent reporting to end violence against women.

She urged journalists to avoid the blame game and report on the issues responsibly.

“You in the media aren’t just telling my story,” Ms Batty said.

“You are telling the story of one in six women in Australia who are affected by intimate partner violence.

“You are telling the story of children who witness this violence, as over half of these women and children have children in their care when violence occurs.”

Ms Batty also urged all media outlets to carry the domestic violence hotline number at the bottom of stories to help people seeking urgent help.

“Only 8 per cent of articles mentioning domestic violence have included reference to 1800RESPECT since the start of the year,” she said.

“I challenge every single media outlet to include links to services such as 1800RESPECT so women know where to get help.

“This is critical.”

This post originally appeared on ABC News.

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