Rosie Batty responds to Miranda Divine slur
The domestic violence advocate invites the News Corp columnist to come and speak with abuse victims so as 'to become more informed about the topic'. Vision courtesy of TODAY Show, Nine Network.PT1M30S 620 349
Rosie Batty has defended herself against recent comments made by News Corp's Miranda Devine, and called on the columnist to become more informed on the topic of domestic violence.
Appearing on The Today Show on Thursday morning, the Australian of the Year and tireless campaigner spoke about the process of writing her book A Mother's Story and about the lessons to come out of her son Luke's inquest.
But host Lisa Wilkinson also drew her on the controversial column published in the Sunday Telegraph the week before, in which Devine referred to the $100m domestic violence package announced by Malcolm Turnbull with Batty's support as a "gimmick blaming domestic violence on gender inequality".
Rosie Batty responds to Miranda Devine's comments while appearing on the Today Show. Photo: Today
Rather than looking to gender imbalances, Devine instead blamed domestic violence on poverty and choices of "unsuitable women" - though paradoxically, she also suggested that removing the welfare safety net would fix the problem.
She also sarcastically described Batty as "the untouchable expert on domestic violence" and questioned "how did the murder of a little boy by his mentally ill, drug-taking father become about 'respecting women'?"
Devine chose to ignore in her column the fact that Batty's ex-husband had been abusing her for years, and that it's widely-acknowledged his killing of Luke was a final act of revenge. She chose to ignore the fact that abusive men frequently use children as weapons to control and inflict pain on their partners. And she also chose to ignore the evidence that domestic violence affects people from all sections of society, even if it is more concentrated at the margins.
When asked to respond to the comments, Batty defended her role in raising awareness about the issue. "I think I can talk as an expert, if my son has been killed and I've had 12 years of being subjected to violence.
"I would suggest that Miranda... I wonder what expertise she has to be so firm in her opinion."
Batty said that many women were moved by the PM's decision to acknowledge the gendered nature of the issue and the importance of respect.
"I'd welcome Miranda to become more informed about the topic. Perhaps she'd like to come out with me at certain stages and talk to a lot of the people I talk to.
"She would be... much more informed about her opinions. Because I can tell you right now, wherever I go, there will be women - one in three women affected by violence - across all suburbs, all professions, throughout Australia.
"Violence comes in many forms. It isn't all about black eyes and broken bones."