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Real Life

Rosie Batty leads hundreds at a candlelight vigil for domestic violence victims

Rosie Batty was among hundreds who gathered in Melbourne’s Federation Square for a candlelight vigil to honour the victims killed through domestic violence.

By Chloe Lal
The Australian of the Year addressed the crowd, saying it was not acceptable that two women a week were murdered as a result of domestic violence.
Last year on February 12th, Rosie’s ex-husband Greg Anderson committed his final unforgivable act and murdered their son, 11-year-old Luke at cricket training in Melbourne.
The mother-of-one, who was a victim domestic violence for years, spoke passionately to the crowd gathered in Melbourne.
"This is for Luke, he was one of those names," Rosie began.
"I can speak and I have spoken many times over the last 12 months, but I am very very moved tonight, because we're here, because I'm one of those names, my son died because his father killed him as his final act of power and control.
"We should be outraged with these statistics, we should be furious. For God's sake, it's time we got together and said enough is enough."
Rosie Batty has been a leader in speaking up for the victims of domestic violence. The mother, who lost her son, has been in the forefront for change and was recently awarded the Australian Of The Year accolade.
The victims' rights advocate congratulated Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews for his role in helping end family violence by calling for a royal commission. Rosie also paid tribute to former Victoria Police chief commissioner Ken Lay for his work in the area.
"When he told me he was resigning I burst into tears because I thought, 'How can we lose a man who talks the talk and walks the walk,'" she said.
"How can we lose somebody who knows how important it is for the men in our society to own the issue, that this is a gender problem, this is a man's desire to treat those who he loves or cares for as possessions.
"But I am still hopeful because Ken made sure that he created the position of a commissioner dedicated to family violence, the police are committed to make change."
The powerful vigil was organised by Safe Steps Family Violence and Response Centre.
A minute's silence was held for all the victims of abuse.
Melbourne was joined by Canberra and Brisbane, where friends and loved ones of those killed in attacks gathered together and shared their stories.

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