“I don’t see myself as an expert but I know I am an expert in the journey of being a victim.”
Family Violence Campaigner and 2015 Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty opened the most recent Ending Domestic Violence Conference in Sydney, speaking of her own experiences dealing with service providers as a victim.
“In our professions we don’t always remember what it’s like to be the victim or to live in constant fear,” she told the conference.
“I managed the violence with Greg for 11 years. Early in my pregnancy, I realised there were concerning behaviours but I still wanted it to work. I felt he had a right to a bond with his son. I supported that bond, always hyper vigilant and wondering if it was the right decision. Largely, I do feel I did the right thing. But when the situation escalated, he became homeless and different organisations were coming in and out of our lives, who was there to understand the escalation? Who joins the red flags? Just because there has been no violence in a while, it is not a predictor of future safety.”
Rosie expanded further on the impact that victim blaming has on women’s willingness to come forward, as well as the next steps she sees as vital for improvements in the sector at the conference.
Read her thoughts, as well as the input of Judge Robyn Sexton; Chair of Critical Social Work at Deakin University, Bob Pease; CEO of Safe Steps, Annette Gillespie and more in the Ending Domestic Violence eBook.
If you or someone you know has been affected by domestic violence, call the National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line, 1800-RESPECT (1800 737 732). In an emergency, call 000.
The National Working with Men to Tackle Family Violence Conference takes place in Sydney in February 2017. In association with No To Violence, this event will share and discuss strategies for prevention, intervention and perpetrator accountability.