Rosie Batty, Violence & The Conversation We NEED To Have

rosie batty

“Life is too perfect to be fair, it’s not about fairness, this is about redemption. What you have gone through, that’s not fair. This is not about fairness.

You didn’t cause the pain and hurt you experienced, but you have to be the one to give it what it’s missing. If you don’t you will continue to hurt.

Endure it, then honour and respect it.” Matt Kahn.

An apt statement of how I felt after listening to Rosie Batty as she took the stage at an iWoman event. Rosie Batty, like you, like me, is flawed and I respect your power, I also respect mine.

I am a stat, both a child who was abused and as a woman in my own relationship.

You say “I stand here as a voice for ALL women who have experienced violence against women.” I thank you for that, I really do because you have brought this silent and deadly epidemic into the Australian population’s awareness and that it is in fact worthy of discussion.

Which in turn, says I am worthy. Every child, every woman and every man, is worthy and is NOT exempt from this silent and deadly epidemic which affects men and women, boys and girls…

But you didn’t say that… So in your opening line when you spoke about how men can also be a victim of violence and how they are a minority because they aren’t on the “news”. You spoke about how there is too much focus on “men” and how you want to dedicate your time talking about “women”. Yet, the entire presentation was about men, the stats and how we need to raise boys with respect.

Less talk about Greg and more about Luke and Rosie, because that is the conversation I want to have and what the Australian population needs to hear. That is how we move forward.

So, when you say the “stats” in regards to violence against males aren’t anywhere near as significant as the stats as violence against women. You’re talking about Luke, you are talking about the 25% of children that family violence effects. How can we NOT talk the 6, 250,000 people who are traumatised by this?

Violence is violence and you cannot disregard that.

Those “men” were once boys and the “women” were once girls so you are right when you say this is gender discrimination, yet I can’t help but feel you are fuelling this by indirectly refusing to look at the entire spectrum.

You know, I am someone who rarely gets angry and I am also one of the least judgmental people you will ever meet. It’s not the way I am wired, however I was angry listening to you speak. Possibly livid and borderline walking out, I felt scared that this was the message you are sharing with the Australian population.

Feeling the way I felt I was trying to make some sort of sense of it and asking myself “Why, did I feel so angry about your presentation?” It wasn’t just one thing, it was several things you said, but the underlying element was the way you subtlety contradicted everything you said…

… How violence against men doesn’t make the news, because it doesn’t happen as frequently. Yet, you also said violence against women didn’t make the “news” 2 years ago and how it has always happened… We don’t know the stats and like most cases, they go unreported, and I am going out on a limb and saying that this would be more common in violence against men than women. Both are equally as horrific, because you know what conversation we aren’t having? Is what happens to those boys who weren’t killed as a result of domestic violence, yet witnessed it, experienced it and still to this day don’t talk about it… Surely that is worth a conversation?

…The silence of family violence and abuse… that is the killer. Whether they die or not, everyone lives with it and as long as the silence continues, they still have the power. It is the ripple effect of domestic violence.

… You say, women feel more self doubt then men, I disagree. The control and power that you talk about in perpetrators, that is self doubt. We all carry it, wear it and deal it differently, but it is there I assure you.

…”If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t even attract someone like Greg into my life.” THAT is a conversation worth having, delving into, you want to help women? Help them explore WHY we DO attract these men and women into our lives.

…When you say the planning your escape will put you in more danger, I disagree. That is how I left, in the moment of what was the clearest message I have ever received from my intuition. “It is now or never.” I wouldn’t be alive today if I had waited and I know that with every inch of my soul.

Sometimes we find “excuses” or reasons as to why we should stay and therefore will never leave if we think too much about it. Every experience is different and the safety is the most important thing and whatever that looks like to each person wanting to escape please know that there are people who can and will help you.

Someone asked me why I didn’t get expert advice when I left or even thought about leaving… Looking back, I didn’t think I deserved it, that there were other cases that were more extreme and needed it more than I did and I felt so alone that I just didn’t know who to turn to because the people I did turn to, didn’t help so I stopped asking. I know now I was asking the wrong people, and I absolutely deserved to be helped, but when violence and abuse has been a part of your entire life… you don’t see that.

… You say, “ Physical violence doesn’t hurt, it’s the psychological abuse that hurts.”

Those punches in the head I received, they hurt.

Being thrown against walls and rooms that hurt.

Getting strangled to the point where I thought I was going to die, that hurt.

It has traumatised me for most of my life.

I do know that nothing hurts more than the shame and embarrassment… but you cannot dismiss the beatings because they are what triggered my fear for a very long time.

… I nearly fell off my chair when as you said “Women should learn not to be so gullible and so trustworthy.”

Now, that is 50 shades of wrong. I am sorry, but really… I mean really? I do not and will not live my life thinking like that or even letting myself ponder what life than looks like… Yuk!

If I didn’t allow myself to trust and still believe in love I wouldn’t have attracted the most amazing man, someone who helped me unpack all my fears, my baggage and my everything… I wouldn’t have my girls, my amazing life and my amazing business. Trusting that I am always supported and trusting that when you work through your mess it becomes your message and knowing that I deserve the most abundant life is why it came into my existence.

As within, so without.

I believe in me and therefore that is what I attract.

 

As soon as we defend our truth, is it no longer our truth. Our truth never needs justifying or explaining.

So when you shot down the woman in the crowd who respectfully shared her experience of her recently passed Father who had been abused, his entire life by her Mother and you respond with (and abruptly I might add) “And Luke had 11 years of life.”

Where was your compassion and respect that you speak so highly of?

It was a perfect opportunity for you to say, “Violence is violence and I am so sorry you and your Father experienced that. This is why we need to break the silence and address all facets of abuse.”

Your close…

You share your love of shopping and how you are now a size 14 when you used to be a size 10, and how you have “work” to do before you get back to that size 10 that you were before Luke passed away.

… Then you speak about how we are raising boys who are desensitised to sexualisation. How every man expects women to look like Elle MacPherson and how every woman thinks she has to look like Elle MacPherson… Can you not see how you are in fact contributing to the problem?

All those subtle ways we un-love ourselves… that is the problem. We are abusing ourselves in so many ways and don’t even realise it!

You, together with the government are rolling out education to boys about respecting women… Let’s have a discussion about how we can teach our girls I to love and respect themselves.

What are we teaching our girls in our homes and in our schools?

Let us come together and open up the discussion around raising strong, courageous and resilient women who deserved to be loved in the most amazing way. And that starts with them loving, respecting and honouring them.

Not once did you talk about the importance of women supporting, respecting and empowering women so together we rise as one…. Instead of judging, blaming and criticizing each other, because it goes way beyond what happens in our homes, it’s our workplace, our media, our playgrounds and our mindset.

How can we stop attracting these men AND women into our life?

How can we teach men and women, boys and girls how to process their anger in a healthy way?

You say “There is too much discussion around men in general.”

I wouldn’t say there is too much discussion; I would say it’s the wrong discussion… I would say we need to have an equal amount of discussion around girls and women as a whole, how we can raise the bar and stop this once and for all.

As my dear friend said “So many speakers talk about domestic violence and say “There is no reason for any man to hit a woman” … The sooner people start to address/talk/discuss all the “reasons” this is seen as acceptable, the sooner we start to eradicate DV. Saying there is no reason what’s so ever, is pure ignorance. There is always a reason/excuse and both men and women use them to justify their position.

Let’s have this conversation and I will happily be a part of that standing ovation you received. But as it is, I cannot salute that… When you speak on behalf of women… I am not one of them, not the way you speak of it. You are a voice, not the voice and not my voice.

In all my years of blogging I never prompt you to share, however this is one time I do ask you to share and spark this conversation.

 

Violence IS Violence

It’s the conversation we don’t have that concerns me the most.

If you or anyone you know needs help please call 1800respect (Australian residents) or see the international helpline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Rhondalynn Korolak

    Here’s what i know to be true… children who grow up in a home where domestic violence occurs (whether it be emotional, physical or both) are desensitized to violence and are more likely to commit violence themselves or be victims. I know because I grew up in a home where domestic violence was rampant and my own brother (who is younger than I am) thought this was normal and eventually conspired with 3 sixteen year old boys to kill our mother.

    $100m by the federal government is not going to fix the problem. Speeches that isolate others (whose experience is slightly different) are also part of the problem. We need to identify 10 men and women who have the stones to stand up for what is right and can each influence 10 more to stand up with us.

    From there we must first change the laws of our land to provide unequivocal protection to victims and consequences with gravity to the perpetrators. We must also make them financially responsible to pay for the aftermath of what they have done and the rebuilding of broken lives. Unfortunately, some people do not see/understand the pain of others. We must make the see/understand by making them responsible to put it right.

    We must change the dialogue we are having to find solutions that fit within our unique culture – which is a melting pot of many different ones. We need to ask our friends (make no mistake, every single one of us knows someone who is at risk and needs our help), how we can help them and then we need to do it.

    We cannot continue to talk round and round about the problem. We all know the problem. It is blatently obvious. What is less obvious is HOW we can fix it. More time needs to be spent fixing and less standing up on soapboxes and making this about government spending.

    We need to do something quickly as our children are watching what we do and say. We are already inadvertently creating another generation of abusers – because they look around and abuse is largely tolerated.

    We need to make it safe to leave. Stats show that the victim is most at risk when they attempt to leave the domestic violence situation. Knowing this, we need to do more to ensure that anyone who needs to leave will have a safe place to go to begin to rebuild their lives.

    I had an issue in my own life recently where a large media company thought it was ok to make up a complete lie and then use it to try to sell more magazines. It wasn’t ok and I thought it would be so easy to get a simple apology and retraction. I thought wrong. You see money is a powerful motivator and men and women are not the only ones who can commit domestic violence. The media can inflict harm and do just as much damage as the perpetrators of the crime.

    Unfortunately in this country, you have to have a lot of money to get redress in these situations.

    I thought it would be so easy to get Rosie Batty, the Minister for Women’s Issues, Quentin Brice, Mamamia or someone to stand up with me to address this issue. I never asked for $100m or any cash, just a simple letter of support. You know what I got? A fat zero. Nothing. Nada.

    And you know why? Because most people don’t give a shit. That’s the truth. They say that they do but in reality they don’t because they see but choose to turn a blind eye and do nothing. They think this is something that only happens to others – that they are somehow immune to domestic violence. Truth is, it touches all of us regardless of age, race, gender, social status, suburb or career choice.

    The violence is already all around us. We by far outnumber the perpetrators but they have us surrounded. Surrounded by our own apathy and lack of true compassion for others. This could happen to any one of us and together we are strong enough to stand up and put an end to this epidemic of domestic violence.

    But it all really comes down to how bothered we all can be to actually do something. Talking and focus groups won’t solve this issue. We need to get our hands dirty. We need to give a shit. We need to put our beliefs and conviction to the test. We need to stand up and take action collectively instead of just sitting back and waiting for someone else to do the real work. And yes, that someone else includes the government. If they can’t bloody well balance the budget and get a few corporations to pay the $8b in tax they owe, I don’t hold out much hope they can fix this issue.

    If you are still reading this…. then you are someone. The only question you need to ask yourself is are you willing to do something or would you prefer to wait until someone in your life that you really care about is the next victim. With the recent stats, you won’t have to wait very long….

    • I feel for you Rhondalynn, so much! There support comes with conditions and it must serve their own needs first… I don’t get it, I really don’t. It is messed up!