Family violence can happen to anyone no matter how nice your home is.
That is the statement from 2015 Australian of the Year and domestic violence campaigner, Rosie Batty who is in the country to raise awareness on family violence and what the key stakeholders in the country can do to address the issue.
Batty’s role as a campaigner began in 2014 after her 11‑year‑old son Luke Batty was murdered by his father at cricket practice on a sports oval in Melbourne.
Batty began speaking publicly about her experience.
She became an advocate for domestic violence survivors and victims.
Now Batty is in Fiji to speak at two Leadership Fiji organized events at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva tomorrow.
She says that she had noticed from her experience in Australia that families and communities were not talking about family violence.
Batty says in Australia, one woman gets murdered in a week while in 2014 two women got murdered every week.
She says many people did not know about it as it was not reported.
Batty also says in family violence cases, there is a lot of victim blaming.
She says people need to understand that if a woman leaves a violent relationship, the partner may still come back to attack the woman and children.
She believes she is able to play a part in finding solutions however everyone plays a part in reducing family violence.
Batty says everyone needs to speak out against family violence as it is not just a domestic issue.
She says in the past, people did not intervene in domestic violence cases.
In Fiji, the Domestic Violence Act gives a lot of protection to the victim which includes getting instant restraining orders, giving women and children the right to stay in the house while the husband or partner has to leave and people have to report any domestic violence case that they witness.
Police also have a No Drop Policy for domestic violence-related charges
Batty says while the laws are good, every effort should be made to protect the victims even after the restraining order is issued.
She says everyone has to be strong enough to come out and say that violence is never acceptable and it is always a poor choice.Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.