real life

It's been 10 years since Rosie Batty's son Luke was murdered. She still lights a candle every day.

On February 12, 2014, 11-year-old Luke Batty was murdered by his father during cricket practice in Melbourne.

The next day, his mother, Rosie Batty, commenced a public campaign to raise awareness for family violence. Since then, Rosie has emerged as one of Australia's most respected advocates against domestic abuse. 

Now, 10 years on from Luke's death, Rosie reflected on her loss and the life of her son.

Watch: Responding to Domestic Violence presented by Rosie Batty. Post continues after video.

Video via 1800RESPECT.

"On one level, you can't believe 10 years have passed," the former Australian of the Year told the podcast Something To Talk About"On another level, you can't believe it ever happened and that you actually were a mum with a wonderful young boy you adored and who was the centre of your world. So you know you're going to sit heavily with feelings."

Ten years ago, Luke was beaten and stabbed to death by his father, Rosie's ex-husband Greg Anderson, who later died in hospital from police gunshots. When Greg killed his son, there were four warrants out for his arrest and he was facing 11 criminal charges — most of which related to family violence against Rosie.

But there's another milestone coming up that Rosie is about to face. Next year, says Rosie, she'll have as lived as long without her son as she did with him.


"This 10 years was very significant and I feel it will be next year as well because Luke was only 11 when he died and next year, I would have lost him for as long as I ever had him. That's what I wrestle with," she explained.

"I’m still lighting a candle each day [or Luke]. That flame makes me think of his energy and presence."

Luke Batty was murdered by his father in 2014. Image: ABC News.

A year after Luke's death, Rosie was named the 2015 Australian of the Year Award. For Luke and for all victims of domestic assault, she has given speeches, made public appearances, led marches and sat down with some of Australia's most powerful politicians and media publications. She has not wavered from speaking against family violence.


She established the Luke Batty Foundation and the Never Alone organisation to raise funds and awareness for families in need, before she stepped down in 2018, as "there is only so much one person can do", she told Something To Talk About

"We all play a part in stopping violence towards women and children, and we're still struggling to comprehend the link between that and gender inequality," Rosie continued. "We all look (and tell ourselves), 'Other people behave in that way, that doesn't happen to people like me; what I'm doing or what I'm experiencing isn't really violence.'"

During her Australian of the Year Award acceptance speech, Rosie said, family violence "is an entrenched epidemic that we've lived with since time began, so we've got a long way to go".

But, she added, "I do believe the tide is turned. It's no longer a subject that only occurs behind closed doors."

Listen to Rosie Batty speak on No Filter. Post continues below.

In an interview with Mia Freedman on Mamamia's No FilterRosie spoke what life was like for her in the wake of her son's death.

"People tell me all the time they're thinking of me," she said. "But when they stopped ringing me, when they stopped texting me, when they stopped inviting me around, I did feel let down. But then I've learned that they watch me from afar. They admire me, support me, think of me — and they will never forget Luke.

"Their journey continues. And similarly, mine will too."

Feature Image: ABC News.