I don’t know you but I know this of you. You are remarkable. Brave. Passionate. Strong. How extraordinary it is that you are admired and honoured for something you never would have wished to have been a part of. You are telling a story that you wish had never been written much less be the protagonist. You inspire others now to stand up, to tell their story, to be vulnerable and to be valued. Yet all of this is because of an enormous tragedy and a loss so profound that no one could imagine how they would survive it, much less do what you’ve done as a result of it.
I know next to nothing about domestic violence. I have never had any personal experience of anything of the nature. Up until a year ago I couldn’t even say that I would have known anyone so closely linked to the crisis but this changed 12 months ago and ironically 24 hours after I started writing this piece escalated even more so. That’s another story and it’s not my story to tell. But it won’t stop me from speaking up because that’s what you, Rosie, want us to do. After everything you have done, everything you have lost, that’s the least we can do.
Rosie you said that domestic violence can happen behind any closed door, in any street, in any suburb. This is not a crisis of a certain demographic. Violence at home does not discriminate.
Because of you though Rosie, we are starting to take notice. Because of you this is no longer just the elephant in the room. I wonder how many women you have saved this year. I wonder if you will ever know. There are women yesterday, today and tomorrow that are maybe just that little bit stronger and more courageous because you took a deep breath and said “enough is enough.” You have shown a resilience that some may never know to be possible. You have silently held the hands of women who have felt that they have nothing and no one. I don’t profess to know what it feels like to be a victim but I know that aside from the truly awful physical injuries there is the emotional pain – the destruction of someone’s self worth, the impact on family and friends, the heartbreak and confusion and the question “what is wrong with me that he would do this to me?” What the fuck is wrong with society that this is even a thing?
With your quiet yet fierce determination Rosie you confronted the media the day after Luke died and the reactions of the public were mixed. Who the hell were we anyway to pass judgement? At the time I was a relatively new mother and the pain I felt for you was quite confronting. At that moment you stepped into the role of campaigner. An advocate so many women and children didn’t have but so desperately needed. A role you didn’t want, a position you sure as hell never applied for. How selfless of you.
You have given the crisis the voice it demanded and the recognition it needed. You have started the conversation and made people listen. What we need more now is for others to do more, because God knows you have sacrificed enough.
Last year you said that Luke did not die in vain and those words are so true.
Thank you Rosie Batty.