This MP didn’t clap for Rosie Batty: whatever his reason, it was his choice 307



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A Victorian MP is today facing a major backlash over his decision not to stand an applaud Australian of the Year Rosie Batty after her historical speech on domestic violence in parliament yesterday.

Graham Watt, MP for Burwood, did not join his 127 colleagues when they rose from their seats to give Ms Batty a standing ovation. He remained seated for one other speaker, Rodney Vlais from No To Violence and the Men’s Referral Service, reports The Age.

He did, however, stand for Kristy McKellar, who spoke about the horrific abuse she endured from her husband.

The MP has been slammed in traditional and social media, with reports saying he “snubbed” Ms Batty.

Mr Watts released a statement late last night about the incident:

“For very personal and private reasons I chose not to stand. Family violence is an issue of incredible sensitivity to me and my family and at some point I will be making a public contribution about the indiscriminate nature of family violence.

“I am very passionate about dealing with the scourge of family violence and supporting all those who are victims of it, male and female.”

Earlier this year, Mr Watts revealed that that his family had experienced abuse, but has not provided any more details.

In March, Mr Watts said, “Violence is never acceptable in any form, whether it be male against female, female against male, male against male or brother against sister. It does not matter who it is.”

Whether it was wrong or right for Mr Watts not to stand and give Rosie Batty a standing ovation when the rest of the house did so, the fact is, it was his choice; he didn’t have to stand, and he didn’t.

However, by remaining seated the MP has made a statement that has created a lot of questions and he will at some point be forced to answer them.

What do you think of this MP’s decision to remain seated instead of giving Rosie Batty a standing ovation?

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  1. He does have his own reasons and its not up to others to judge him for that – he is pro active in this area so leave the man alone why does everyone have to copy others who chose to stand, whether they want t or not it seems…….

  2. Next we’ll be taking pics and posting them to shame people who don’t stand for the anthem…

  3. I’m not saying he was right or wrong however he made a decision that he now has to stand by, we all have choices and we also all make mistakes, get over it.

  4. Very rude no respect does he think he is too good should put his name up he made a big mistake he might not think much of the cause this lady stands for he needs to think about it

    1 REPLY
  5. unnecessary distraction. Lets talk about solving the problem of violence and it’s impact on families, health services, education, the economy and the legal system… who actually cares about standing ovations.

  6. Probably a hidden agenda..he will get more attention when he does speak…hopefully with a positive supportive message.

  7. Mike here-his choice. Seems to me we didn’t hear much from her on family violence before she was touched by the tragedy that befell her, pretty much the same as that young chap & his party drug of choice. I think prople who suffer from family violence sre pretty thick skinned & as in the case of my daughter, she will keep fumbling along from one abusive relationship to the other while her mother & I sit & wait for the phone call to come & bury her. She won’t be told either, she ings tge police but before they get there he has convinced her that he won’t do it again so long as she doesn’t push his wrong buttons. She is 43 yrs old & a trained nurse, go figure.

    25 REPLY
    • Exactly. I once intervened to stop my neighbor being beaten by her boyfriend. Someone called the police and she told them that I started it and was a trouble maker. Lucky for me others saw what happened and spoke up otherwise I could have been arrested. Unfortunately you can’t help those who don’t want to help themselves.

    • So very true. Domestic violence is a vicious circle…round and round it goes until kaboom!

    • I don’t want to be critical of anyone who has experienced a traumatic event but I have to agree that in many cases that we don’t hear them speak out until they themselves have been affected.

    • Agree 100% i intervened with friend he was sent to jail and she laughed because she pushed and pushed till he hit her (just once and as i told him he should have walked away)because she wanted some ecxcitement yes that’s right when he got out if jail she did it again this time when he gotbout of jail he made a smart move and walked away. I’ve seen a woman get her daughter to say her ex sexually abused her so she could buy a new car because the courts always believe the woman. And I believe Rosie Battie let her son be in danger by not ringing the police when he showed up at cricket the “i didn’t want to come between a father and son” line doesn’t wash with me you take out an AVO then you dam well follow that AVO or you are playing russian roulette people need to stop using AVOs as a threat and use them wisely or they mean nothing.

    • What are you saying Pamela?? You have walked her path have you? You know all about the emotions and mental state of a DV victim do you? Of course you do, otherwise you wouldn’t make such judgmental comments. Seventy eight women have been MURDERED by MEN this year Pamela! What else do you need to know???

    • That is the most ignorant stupid statement I’ve read for quite a while Rose Batty was just trying to survive and give he son a normal life while living in fear of a monster. Of course she didn’t speak out you don’t poke a stick at a snake. Until your lived it don’t presume and be so smug.

    • They are brainwashed to believe it does not matter how they are treated they need to stay with their abuser. Sometimes they are too frightened because they have been told their family will be harmed if they say a word and they know the partner is capable of doing this. Multitude of reasons hard to fathom unless you have been beaten into submission. ( methods used in hostage situations!!)

    • Libby Johnson Every time I read an anti DV coment from a female I have to wonder about their emotional/mental state of mind. And, what ‘cosy’ totally dependent male dominented situation they’re living in.

    • Mike here-I understand that in the Batty case that there was an AVO in place. The police should have been rung as soon as the man approached the boy.

    • Mike here-oh & Libby, if you had read my post fully you would realise that my wife & I live in this fear every day, I in fact find your comment a wee bit ignorant. Block ne for that.

    • JuneMike, I am sorry your daughter is caught up in domestic violence…as you point out, its a complicated issue…empathy-1:judgement-0…I’m wondering where a safe place for her might be, or why she doesn’t choose to go back to your home…not 🌸

    • Mike here-she doesn’t move back with us because every time he hits her or smashes a window in her car, he is able to convince her that this would be his changing point & he will never do it again. Her son, our grandson who is 19 has disowned her because she owes him for money used on drugs for the boyfriend & her daughter, our grand daughter now lives with her biological father because of her own safety issues. Maybe of course she doesn’t want to move back into our houshold where I have kept my wife for 48 years through the use of my violent nature.

    • Su Taylor , did you not read the same comment as me . He said he is living it through his daughter . Read it again .

    • 84 women have been killed by men this year alone.It would not have kiled him to be gentlemn and stand for a lady

    • People are so judgemental,I admire Rosie Batty and believe she is a wonderful ambassador for violence against women and families.We have no right to judge this man though,we don’t know his reasons for not standing to applaud Rosie,nor is it our business to know.

    • As a son Murdered 6yrs not from domestic violence violence is violence no matter what forms it sickens me to think we live in such a frightening world and violence is the answer

    • Unless you have been there don’t judge. There are many types of violence manipulation one.Trouble is we ignore too much.The problem is in addressing mental health issues.The solution is building resilience in our children, fostering communication education and trustand equanimity so that power has no power, emotions have expression.

    • I don’t live in a cosy partnered live thanks anyway my partner passed away and he would never have abused me and you know why…because I’m not that stupid hit me or even if i thought you might i would be long gone i know not all people can do this and live in fear and my belief is if you take.out an AVO then that’s it if you that person even messages you they do jail time no excuses hard line needs to be taken BUT if you answer that message,phone call,knock on the door,let them be at cricket match and you enable them in any way to be in your life then you are playing with fire the police and courts can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.

    • David James, I agree, if he has suffered through domestic violence in whatever form, he should be understanding of her plight. And yes standing is a form of respect.

    • Robyn SagerRosie did in fact call the police as soon as her ex arrived that day,over and over again,was waiting for them,as the ex was homeless and living on the streets,and would always leave before the police finally got there…..AND YES,THIS TIME WAS NO DIFFERENT,THE POLICE FAILED TO SHOW UP AGAIN ON THAT FATEFUL DAY,until poor luke was killed….The enquiry into Lukes death found the system was to blame ,over and over again….that is a huge thing that needs to change….Your judgement has ,once again,like most people ,come from ignorance……people’s victim shaming needs to stop…find out the facts first!!!!!

    • What a stupid comment mike. They aren’t thick skinned at all. Due to constant verbal abuse some women believe it when they are told they are worthless. It gets to the stage where they may as well have victim tattooed on their forehead. Violent men can pick them a mile off. They start off being totally charming to the woman and when she’s sucked in then the male controlling behaviour. Your comment just shows that you don’t understand the issue at all

  8. It’s his decision, this lady has been a great campaigner against domestic violence however she seems to love the limelight

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