Monday, August 22, 2016

Rosie Batty will be visiting Norfolk Island this coming week to open the uneasy conversation our community needs to have around the issue of family violence. As difficult as it is for many of us to accept, we couldn’t possibly be immune, as statistically one in three Australian women will be subjected to some form of physical and/or sexual abuse in their lifetime.


Rosie Batty is actively campaigning to change the legal approach to family violence in Australia. The ‘system’ (as it stands) does little to protect women and their children from the dreadful situation many find themselves in as they attempt to break free from a violent family situation. Speaking recently to the media in Brisbane, Rosie said, “The police have changed significantly in their cultural response to family violence. The judiciary also needs to step up and become part of the solution."


The “Safety First in Family Law” plan she will be urging the people of Norfolk to support, calls for new laws that would prevent the cross-examination of victims by abusers in court, an increase in funding for legal aid services and the provision of mediation with specially trained lawyers and social workers. It is a five-point plan backed by more than 90 organisations that ultimately seeks to remove legal hurdles in the Family Court system that make it hard for vulnerable women to leave dangerous situations.


Rosie will speak openly about her own experience; how she was encouraged by the Family Court to allow her violent former partner access to the 11 year old son they shared, and how that situation ended in tragedy.


Despite her obvious suffering, Rosie has worked tirelessly since then to prevent other families from suffering a similar fate, even launching the Luke Batty Foundation to support women and children affected by the trauma of family violence. She is a warm, witty and inspiring women, justifiably awarded the honour of Australian of the Year in 2015 and we welcome the community to join WAGNI at Rawson Hall on Tuesday, 23rd August at 5:15pm to hear her speak. She is well placed to start the awkward conversation we so desperately need to have here, around the issue of family violence.


For more information please contact Tracey Sweeney 55404 or Eve Semple 54996 or 22636. 


Are you experiencing sexual assault or domestic and family violence? Seeking to support someone who is? For Information and support 24/7 - Call 1800 737 732


To report family violence please contact the Norfolk Island Police on 22222 and the counsellor is available on 23191 or 56400.


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