Today would have been Luke Batty’s 13th birthday.
On February 12, 2014, Rosie watched on as Luke’s father, Greg Anderson, stabbed her son to death on a cricket field in Melbourne.
Today, on Luke’s second birthday since his murder, Roise has asked “ordinary Australians” to join her in the fight to eliminate family violence. On 20 June, a “profoundly sad” day for her, she is launching a new initiative to end family violence.
She said, “I can’t bring him back and his absence leaves a terrible hole in my life,” the ABC reports.
Ms Batty continued, “I am campaigning hard, every single day.”
“I’m driving to keep supporting all victims of family violence because no-one should have to go through what I’m going through and my journey doesn’t end.”
In honour of her son, today Ms Batty launched a new family violence campaign – Never Alone.
According to the ABC, Ms Batty said, “[Today] we begin a movement of ordinary Australians to stand beside the victims of family violence and make it impossible for our issue to be ignored any longer.”
“It’s a journey of discovery, to understand the drivers and solutions to the family violence epidemic.
“But it’s also a journey with a mission. One that will hold our leaders to account.”
Watch the video below to learn more about Rosie Batty’s newest campaign, Never Alone.
When Rosie Batty accepted her award as Australian of the year, she spoke honestly and openly with the nation about family violence. Her words were powerful and filled with purpose so we have included them in full here…
I would like to dedicate this award to my son, Luke.
He is the reason I have found my voice and I am able to be heard.
Whilst we celebrate the country that we live in today, there remains a serious epidemic across our nation.
Family violence exists in every pocket of every neighbourhood. It does not discriminate and it sits across all sections of our society.
Family violence may happen behind closed doors, but it needs to be brought out from these shadows and into broad daylight.
One in six women has experienced physical or sexual abuse by a current or former partner, including some of those celebrating with us today. At least one woman a week is killed. Indigenous women experience even greater family violence.
These statistics are unacceptable, indisputable. And if they happened on our streets, there would be a public outcry.
To our government: we need your strong leadership to change these rising statistics, and your investment into both preventing the violence and long-term secure funding to our specialist women’s services to deliver the intensive support so desperately needed.
To the Australian people: look around. Do not ignore what you see and what you know is wrong. Call out sexist acts and sexist attitudes. And speak up when violence against women is trivialised.
To men: We need you to challenge each other and become part of the solution. Raise the conversation and don’t shy away from this uncomfortable topic. We cannot do this without you.
To the women and children who are unsafe, in hiding, or living in fear; who have changed their names, left their extended families and moved from their communities to find safety: you do not deserve to live a life that is dictated by violence.
You are not to blame.
Violence to anyone, man, woman or child is never acceptable and never the right choice.
It is simply, not ok.
As the Australian of the Year, I’m committed to building greater campaigns, to educate and challenge community attitudes.
I am on a path to expose family violence and to ensure that victims receive the respect, support and safety that they deserve.
And to Luke, my little one: you did not die in vain and will not be forgotten.
You are beside me on this journey. And with me every step of the way.
For more information on the Never Alone initiative, please visit Neveralone.com.au.
Will you stand with Rosie Batty?
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