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Normally my blogs are about my travel life. Today’s is a little different. As I am blogging on the Growing Bolder blog site, I thought that today I would blog about something that I feel passionate about. It’s about a woman in Australia whom I admire. A brave woman, who has come through every mother’s idea of hell, and survived. Not only has she survived, she has given hope and inspiration to many. My blog today is about Rosie Batty.
Rosie is a well-educated and articulate 50-year-old working woman. She was a single mother of one child, a happy 11-year-old called Luke, who was the apple of his mother’s eye; he loved sports, especially cricket. Rosie was estranged from Luke’s father. She had a restraining order against him, as he had been violent in the past, however the courts had given permission for the father to be allowed access to the son in public places.
In February 2014, she and Luke were at a local public cricket ground for practice. Luke’s father approached Luke with a big smile on his face and the father and son talked. Luke then ran to Rosie and asked if he could have a few extra minutes of play at the cricket nets with his father, as Luke was enjoying their time together. Rosie gave her permission, delighted that they both seemed happy.
What happened next, was without warning. Luke’s father suddenly swung the cricket bat (wider than a baseball bat) violently across the back of Luke’s head, which spun Luke to the ground. Then Luke’s father attacked him with a knife until Luke was dead. Police arrived quickly and Luke’s father threatened them with his knife and police shot him. Luke’s father died in hospital the following morning.
Most women would never have recovered from this. Her one child murdered. Many would have curled up in a ball and asked for life long medication and sedation. Not Rosie Batty. She fronted up to media the very next morning. She came out of her front gate to talk to the media with a strong message.
The message was clear, she said, “I want to tell everybody that family violence happens to anybody. No matter how nice your house is, how intelligent you are. It can happen to anyone, and everyone. This has been an 11–year battle. You can do the best you can. You’re a victim, and you’re helpless. An intervention order doesn’t stop anything like this from happening.”
There was something amazing about this brave woman. Her delivery of this strong message drew in people who saw it. Her point was clear. Domestic violence can and does reach all types of people. It is not the prerogative of the lower socio-economic groups, or of the under-educated.
She went on to become an advocate against domestic violence and abuse. She set up a foundation in Luke’s name to help other victims. She has worked tirelessly to try to raise awareness of domestic violence and support for victims. She was criticized in some quarters for not “acting like a victim” and also criticized for using her popularity to assist this cause. One particularly well known misogynistic Australian “journalist” derided Rosie for speaking publicly about the murder to raise awareness about domestic violence.
Rosie has risen above them all.
Rosie was voted Australian of the Year in 2015 and continues to be a loud voice against domestic violence.
Rosie, I applaud you. Where most women would have fallen apart, you rose up and fought, and continue to fight for others. You are an amazing woman, and truly a survivor and an inspirational person!