OPINION: Rosie Batty shows real terror is right at home

Australian of the Year Rosie Batty on the ABC's Q and A program.
Australian of the Year Rosie Batty on the ABC's Q and A program.

AUSTRALIAN of the Year Rosie Batty on Monday night did what Prime Minister Tony Abbott should have done a long time ago - put the terror at home firmly on the national agenda.

Domestic violence is a far bigger threat to Australian women and children than moronic Isis terrorists will ever be in this country.

Official figures show a woman dies at the hands of a current or former partners almost every week in Australia. More recently, the rate has been much higher.

In economic terms alone, the cost of violence against women and  children is estimated at more than $15 billion a year.

And as Rosie so powerfully put it on the ABC's Q and A program, it is not confined to people from 'bad' or 'poor' homes.

"Why I would like to think I've been heard, is because if it can happen to me, it can happen to everybody, and I didn't have a history of violent relationships before that either,'' she told another victim.

Many ask the question why these women don't leave. It's the wrong question.

We should be asking why these men feel it is ever okay to physically abuse their partner or children?


  • A woman dies at the hands of a current or former partner almost every week in Australia. Some research suggests this rate is much higher.
  • One woman in three has experienced physical violence, since the age of 15
  • One woman in five has experienced sexual violence.
  • One woman in four had experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner.
  • Women in Australia are three times more likely than men to experience violence at the hands of a partner.
  • Almost half of the women who experience violence by an ex-partner said children had seen or heard the violence.
  • Young women (18 - 24 years) experience significantly higher rates of physical and sexual violence than women in older age groups.
  • There is growing evidence that women with a disability are more likely to experience violence. For example, 90% of Australian women with an intellectual disability have been subjected to sexual abuse.
  • Indigenous women experience disproportionately high levels of family violence.


Mark Furler is APN Australian Regional Media's group digital editor. He has been a journalist on the Sunshine Coast for almost 30 years.

Topics:  editors picks opinion rosie batty t terrorathome

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