April 2, 2014

Dear Rosie Batty...

Dear Rosie Batty,

I am so sorry for what you went through on TV this morning. I could feel your pain, the hideous, agonising pain of losing your beautiful, beloved son Luke. It was twisting my guts and wrenching my soul. I saw my parents in similar pain, they lost my sister six years ago, and only someone who has been close to such profound, shocking grief can possibly understand how it feels.

I am sorry.

I am so sorry for what Joe Hildebrand said. He was wrong, a thousand shades of wrong. Rosie, he can't possibly understand what it means to be in an abusive relationship. None of us can if we haven't been there. But those of us with compassion and empathy, we listen to other people's stories. We hear their fear. We acknowledge their pain. We try to wrap our heads around what it must be like to be utterly controlled by another person. And we accept that their reality is valid, and terrifying, even if it doesn't in any way match our own.

I am sorry.

I am so sorry that you were forced to defend your role as loving mother and protector of your son. We know how deeply you loved Luke. We could see it in your eyes. We could hear it in your voice. And we know, because so many of us have children of our own, how profoundly and desperately we love our own babies. It is understood. You did everything you could. We know that and we have never questioned you at all.

I am sorry.

Any parent of a deceased child blames themselves in some way. As a parent, we are supposed to protect our children from harm. But this doesn't mean the blame is justified. You are not responsible for what happened to Luke. The only person responsible for that is his father. We know that. We believe that, fiercely. You did everything you could. You loved your child. Please know that we believe that with all our hearts.

We are sending you our love, and our strength, and our support. We are there with you, Rosie. We wish you long life, and hope that you will find joy again.

We are sorry that you were hurt this morning, and that your terrible grief was compounded. On behalf of women everywhere, please know we are with you.



  1. Lana (Sharpest Pencil)April 2, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Thank you for writing this Kerri. I only hope she knows how many people feel the same way as you do, and not just Rosie Batty, but all women touched by domestic or family violence

  2. Thank you for writing this, Kerri.
    It's exactly what I wanted to say.
    To Rosie, and anyone else in her situation, my love to you all. xx

  3. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. A child's death is always a tragedy. Let's not make it yet worse for those left behind by the hideous suggestion that anyone other than the perpetrator is to blame for not preventing it.

  4. YES, Kerri, so beautifully done. I had the exact reaction to that video interview with Rosie. :(

  5. Well written Kerri. It is all very well for Joe to make comments about what should have happened when there is no understanding of the situation at all, as he admitted. My heart goes out to Rosie and I hope she gets to read your post - you summed up what so many women must be thinking today.

  6. I've only just heard on the news what Hildebrand said; and my mouth just fell open in disgust and anger! What an arrogant bastard!

    Good on you, Kerri for your words. Hildebrand should made eat his thoughtless, ignorant words topped with the hottest of chillies! How heartless he is! Talk about dumb and dumber! I hope his conscience plagues him!

  7. He's been justifying it all afternoon. I don't think it's going to happen. Sigh x

  8. Wasn't it just excruciating to watch? Still in shock x

  9. I know. And she looked like she was going to crack. Just terrible.

  10. What an amazing, courageous woman Rosie is. I am so angry for her, for every woman like her.

    Did Joe apologise at least? Who even is Joe? Why has he been given a platform to say anything about anything?

    Thank you for writing this, Kerri. It has made me sick and sad and really angry. Which is how we all need to start feeling if we are to bring about change on the issue of domestic violence.

  11. I saw a woman so raw and in so much pain, showing courage in keeping important conversations alive. I hope she has all the love and therapeutic emotional support she needs to get through this and to heal (even though I can't imagine anyone ever gets over the loss of a child).
    I hope this interview is a good reminder that the "other" people we are so blithely commenting on are real and they are in pain because they've lived something that a lot of us never have.

  12. I am amazed at Rosie's relative composure and ability to articulate the crux of a very misunderstood problem. I get so tired of hearing statements like Joe's, though I think it truly does come from ignorance and not malintent.

    Unless someone has lived in fear of their life, has been controlled and stalked and psychologically manipulated, they are not entitled to an opinion on how someone should behave under those circumstances. The risk of being murdered increases by 50% when a woman leaves an abusive relationship. While those on the outside may not know this, we on the inside are acutely aware of this risk. Every decision we make, every action we do or do not take, is calculated to keep ourselves and our children safe. But quite often, it's not within our power to do so.

    Thanks for this beautiful post, Kerri.

  13. There are aspects of Ms Batty that concern me.

    At one 'press conference' she insisted the killer 'loved Luke' clearly he did not, to make that comment is delusional.

    She said there were no indications that the killer would hurt Luke, again wrong and delusional.

    There was clear evidence that Luke was in danger from this violent, useless, loser. This individual had nothing to offer and Luke should have been kept away from him.

    To late now of course but women need to be aware that children are in danger in every situation of home violence.

    Stop making excuses for these individuals, stop kidding yourselves that children need contact with violent males.

    Of course escape is very difficult and dangerous but steps have to be taken, if you have family overseas you may have an opportunity to get far, far away....

  14. i can sadly SO relate to some of what she said, but I am trying to understand the sheer ignorance and almost arrogance of those blessed with having never been in their life in the situation of abuse that controls your body AND your mind. Aka Fear of Death for everyone.
    J Hildebrand represents what the majority of people still think about abuse situations where adult women are concerned, it is fairly obvious by the type of comments every single woman who was or is victim of domestic violence and abuse gets from even her well educated, well intentioned friends : "why don't you / didnt' you 'just leave'?" and "report it" .
    It has to be understood that the type of abuse we accept as crippling to children is very powerful and paralysing also on grown ups.
    Women from abuse situations display symptoms of torture victims and war survivors. Menacing them will NOT empower them to find the force to break out into the normal world.


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