On this International Women’s Day I rise to acknowledge a great woman and someone who was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2015, Rosie Batty. Rosie Batty has done more than any other person to help Australians understand that family violence does not discriminate. Immediately following the tragic death of her son, Luke, she single-handedly highlighted that economic status, intelligence and career status does not limit the risk for women experiencing family violence.
It was Rosie Batty’s great personal strength in the face of her enormous loss that led to Premier Andrews announcing Australia’s first Royal Commission into Family Violence. This royal commission has already led to sweeping changes across the service sector, the justice system and our industrial systems. It has also led to an unprecedented investment to end family violence, with the last budget allocating $1.9 billion to transform the way we support family violence victim survivors and respond to perpetrators.
We will soon be opening our first five support and safety hubs, where families in need of early intervention and a response to family violence will be welcomed and supported. We have also recruited more dedicated family violence specialists at Victoria Police, embedded family violence specialists in child protection and established the risk assessment and management panels to manage high-risk perpetrators. We have also rolled out new models of tackling men’s violence and preventing such violence in the future, including the Caring Dads program. Importantly, these changes have all been made through a co-design process which has intimately involved the community sector in these reforms. I also want to personally thank Rosie Batty for her work in chairing the Victim Survivors Advisory Council, which has provided valuable input to these reforms.
I would like to acknowledge the incredible work of Rosie Batty over the past four years. I understand she is now taking a well-deserved break from her speaking commitments and winding up the Luke Batty Foundation. I look forward to her continuing her work through her role as the chair of the Victim Survivors Advisory Council. This is an important time in history as we are seeing the #metoo and #timesup campaigns and we continue to focus on family violence.