This morning Rosie Batty appeared on The Today Show on Channel 9.
And in just a few minutes she confirmed exactly why she has captured and held Australia’s attention and respect. When Lisa Wilkinson asked her to respond to a few critical assertions Miranda Devine made about her in recent comments, Batty barely batted an eyelid.
She didn’t lash out or resort to name calling. She was articulate, measured and informed.
“I think I can speak as an expert if my son has been killed and I have had 12 years being subject to violence,” Batty said.
She then suggested Miranda Devine could accompany her to speak with women who are affected by domestic violence.
“I welcome Miranda to become more informed. I can tell her that wherever I go there are 1 in 3 women affected by violence, across Australia. In all different suburbs and demographics. Violence comes in many forms – it’s not just broken bones and black eyes.”
The tragic circumstances through which Australia came to know Rosie Batty are horrific and well known. Losing her son Luke in such a public, violent manner is why we all know Rosie Batty, but it does not, on its own, explain why she’s the 2015 Australian of the Year. It does not explain, on its own, why she’s a valued adviser on domestic violence. It does not explain, on its own, why she is such a powerful advocate for ending domestic violence.
The reason she is all those things is because in the face of inexplicable tragedy, Rosie Batty has shown incredible strength. She has channelled her grief, her intelligence, her energy and her experience into having a constructive and meaningful national dialogue about domestic violence. At every turn, even in the face of scathing criticism, Batty is measured and articulate.
Batty experienced the fragmented services that domestic violence victims encounter and the consequences were devastating. But when asked about this Batty doesn’t speak with bitterness or resort to recriminations, as she would be well within the bound of reason to do. Instead she focuses on what can be learned and how solutions can be created.
“We need to see more collaboration between services. It’s like being a ping-pong ball and my journey was no different to anyone else’s journey,” Batty told Wilkinson.
This morning reinforced, once again, why Rosie Batty is the powerful advocate that she is.
Is she ‘untouchable’? No one is. But it is worth considering why anyone would seek to denigrate a woman who is so powerfully seeking a solution to a problem that is killing nearly two Australian women every week.