Domestic homicide rate for women almost doubled: Batty

Australian of the Year Rosie Batty says the number of women killed in domestic homicides has almost doubled already this year, with seven deaths in five weeks.

The domestic violence campaigner told Seven's The Daily Edition that the much publicised "one woman a week" statistic is old.

"It’s almost approaching two women a week now," Ms Batty said.

"What needs to happen is strong leadership and investment in family violence because it’s not going to go away, and it will continue to escalate and get worse if we don’t do something."


Amid the overwhelming sadness that followed the murder of her son by her ex-partner, Victorian mum Rosie Batty stood tall when many others would have fallen apart.

She has emerged from the tragedy as an agent for change, and a voice for Australia's many unheard victims of domestic violence.

Few have lost as much - her 11-year-old son Luke was killed by his father during cricket practise in February 2014.

She dedicated her Australian of the Year award to her son.

"He is the reason I have found my voice and am able to be heard", Ms Batty said during the Australia Day-eve ceremony in Canberra.

“To Luke, my little man, you did not die in vain and will not be forgotten. You are with me every step of the way”.

"Being a mother was the most fulfilling role I've ever had in my life."

Former governor-general Dame Quentin Bryce praised Ms Batty's courage and strength in a video message following the announcement of her title last month.

"We own an enormous debt of gratitude to Rose for using her voice," she said.

At the time of Luke's death, his father, Greg Anderson, was subject to two intervention orders. He was shot dead by police.

In February, Rosie Batty joined hundreds of mourners who wore a touch of yellow to honour her 11-year-old son at his funeral in the tiny town of Tyabb. Photos: Supplied/AAP

Ms Batty doesn't blame the police for what happened to Luke, but the culture around domestic violence.

"We need to look at cultural change, where does violence come from?" she asked.

"You need to look in you own backyard."

Ms Batty's resolve has dragged an uncomfortable issue onto the national agenda.

She wants to change the way Australians reflexively think about domestic violence.

At the time of Luke's death, his father, Greg Anderson (pictured with son Luke), was subject to two intervention orders. He was shot dead by police. Photo: 7News

The actions of the violent perpetrator deserve scrutiny first, she says, and not the reactions of the victims enduring it.

"That's a key thing I would really like to see over the next decade," Ms Batty told AAP.

"That we would actually, without thinking, challenge that male behaviour rather than constantly going back to `why doesn't she leave? Why doesn't she do anything?`."

Ms Batty's advocacy moved Victoria's top-ranking police officer to speak out on the issue, leading a cultural shift in the way Victoria Police responds to domestic violence.

Outgoing chief commissioner Ken Lay (who officially stepped down on January 31) has described Ms Batty as a remarkable woman intent on turning tragedy into a positive.

It's an honour that initially made her feel "conflicted ... thinking how can I get an award because Luke has died".

Domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty has been named 2015's Australian of the Year. Photo: AAP

"Friends were able to say it's not because of Luke's death, it's how you've responded," Ms Batty said.

Luke would also be very proud of his mum, Ms Batty said.

"He'd initially think I was an embarrassment," she laughs.