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Rosie Batty

In their own words

Recorded 2017

Rosie Batty
Audio: 2 minutes

It is a big question – why have we not recognised before now as a very lucky, privileged, progressive country that we do have an underbelly. Doesn’t mean that it’s all men that are violent. In fact, some men are victims of violence too. But most men are also victims of other male violence. So I think that we’ve got to understand that this is something that we all play a part in as a community where we condemn violence of any kind. And there is never an excuse. It is always a choice, based on power and control. So why have we taken this long to become enraged about people who bully, intimidate and continue to terrorise vulnerable people?

Victims are not weak. Victims have strength. They’re not in the position they’re in because they’re less of a person. In fact, they have enormous strength and resilience because they use it every day. And we do not talk about grief. We do not talk about grief, we don’t know what it looks like and we again have ideas of what you should be. They would expect you to be comatose in a shrouded room. I don’t know why I didn’t choose that path because it would have been incredibly easy. I think at the time you’re so used to fighting that you just know you’ve got to keep fighting. I felt if I let myself sink into that abyss I would never have come out of it. I still feel like that because, you know, you don’t recover. And sometimes it is too hard to keep going but you do.

If people get strength from seeing my strength then I think that’s an amazing thing I can give back. What I think that portrait captures [is] some part of me that lets you realise that there’s a sadness that probably will never go away. But thtough that sadness there’s an awful lot of good things.

Acknowledgements

This recording was made during interviews for the National Portrait Gallery's Portrait Stories series.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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