An emotional anti-domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty has said she feels her son Luke did not die in vain, after the Victorian Coroner ruled on his death on Monday.
Luke’s tragic death in February 2014 is viewed by some as the catalyst for the media’s heightened coverage of domestic violence problems, something Ms Batty has played a key part in through her work.
“As Justice Grace said to me today personally, Luke has not died in vain,” Ms Batty said after the Coroner’s finding that nothing could have been done to predict the incident.
“That’s what I’ve been working for. Luke hasn’t died in vain.
“But last week for the first time, we now have a Federal Government in a leadership role.
“We have a Prime Minister who’s actually understanding that this is a gender issue.”
“When he [Malcolm Turnbull] spoke and said that disrespect does not always end in violence, but violence always starts with disrespect, I felt for the first time that as a woman, we’re starting to gain the support that we need to understand that this issue requires men to lead the change.”
Ms Batty also reserved special thanks for the way the states have reacted to her calls for change.
“We’ve had our Premier here in Victoria announcing a royal commission into this issue, because he was so moved by Luke’s personal story,” she said.
“We have really great work happening in South Australia with how they’re responding to family violence and a true commitment from their Premier.
“We have great work happening in Tasmania, who also embrace this issue. We have great work starting to happen also in NSW.
“We have great leadership from our state governments and also in Queensland looking at how we need to now seriously address this issue.”
Earlier in the day, Victorian Coroner Ian Gray ruled Batty’s death at the hands of his father was a “tragic loss of a young life full of promise” and said his father was “solely responsible for his death”.
The Coroner made 29 recommendations but said no-one could have predicted that Greg Anderson would kill his son.
He praised Ms Batty, saying she was a “compelling witness” and a “loving, caring and thoughtful mother”.
“Her decisions were completely motivated by her deep love for her son,” he said.
“I find that there is no validated risk-assessment tool that can accurately predict whether a parent is likely to commit filicide.”
Coroner Gray said the boy’s death had been preceded by years of family violence.
– with ABC