Australian of the Year Rosie Batty has made a heartfelt plea to the Royal Commission into Family Violence and said that education about family violence needs to be in every school, from as young as kindergarten. Do you agree?
The anti-family violence advocate also called for a stop to victim blaming and the common question of “why doesn’t she leave?”. She said too often the focus is on the victim, instead of the offender’s crime.
“We don’t realise we do it … raising questions like, ‘Why doesn’t she leave?’ when in fact that is a pivotal time that you can be murdered,” she said.
“We should really be considering the perpetrator’s behaviour, that we actually spend most of our time discussing and criticising and judging the victim, [while] the perpetrator remains out of conversation and discussion.
“Why would that be, that we place the onus of safety onto the victim’s shoulders, expecting them to seek refuge and hide and find safety rather than looking at the perpetrator’s behaviour and getting them to stop being violent?”
As a victim of domestic violence herself, and her own son dying at the hands of an abusive father, she said women have barriers to getting the help they need when in a domestic violence situation.
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“We have to work on being believed and that somehow the perpetrator can very frequently and very often turn families, friends and children against the victim,” she said. “It’s really quite astonishing how we have this view that somehow we are exaggerating or lying, and it can’t quite be true.”
Ms Batty has travelled far and wide and spoken about the scourge that is family violence, and now she is pushing for schools to get involved in education around these societal issues.
She enthused that it needs to be a productive conversation from as young as kindergarten and “not just a … video that is stuck in a recorder and we all go and watch it and go off and continue to do what we have always done”.
Every school in every state should be involved, “so we can start to influence and counteract the culture of, what I would say, would be a huge influence on young people’s minds which is most undoubtedly the gaming culture, where obviously violence and inappropriate views of sex and all of those things are filtered into a young person’s mind”, Ms Batty said.
If you need help or information regarding domestic violence, call the Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732.
Tell us, do you think family violence should be spoken about from as young as 4 years of age? When is an appropriate time to raise these issues?