Rosie Batty has been named the 2015 Australian of the year for her campaign against domestic violence.
Ms Batty rose above her own painful experience and heartache after the tragic loss of her 11-year-old-son, Luke, who was killed at the hands of his own father after Luke's cricket match in February 2014
Rosie and Luke's story sent shockwaves around Australia and brought the unfortunate recognition to light that family violence could happen to anyone. Rosie has taken a stand and given voice to many thousands of victims of domestic violence who had until then been left in the dark
She now champions efforts to fight against domestic violence, making many media and public speaking appearances to shine a spotlight on issues that have been hidden or remained taboo for far too long.
"Family violence may happen behind closed doors but it needs to be brought out from these shadows and into broad daylight," she said, in acceptance of her Australian of the Year Award.
"Do not ignore what you see and what you know is wrong. To men, we need you to challenge each other and become part of the solution."
"Raise the conversation and don't shy away from this uncomfortable topic. We cannot do this without you. To the women and children who are unsafe, in hiding or living in fear, who have changed their names, left their extended families and moved from their communities to find safety, you do not deserve to live a life that is dictated by violence, you are not to blame.
"To Luke, my little man, you did not die in vain and will not be forgotten. You are beside me on this journey and with me every step of the way."
Mrs Batty quoted horrifying statistics that she wanted every Australian to know: One in three women experiences violence at the hand of someone they know. On average, one woman is killed every week by an intimate partner. One in four children has been exposed to domestic violence.
As matrimonial lawyers, we are often exposed to and hear stories from our clients about the incidents of domestic violence within relationships that have gone wrong. We hear stories and witness firsthand accounts about how children are witness to such violence and the detrimental effect this has on their upbringing.
To read more about the Sad Realities of Domestic Violence in Australia, please click here.
For more information about Domestic Violence, if you need help or know someone who does, please visit http://www.whiteribbon.org.au.