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The role of media in ending domestic violence

June 04 2015 By Hannah Grant, Media Relations Officer, Our Watch

​On Wednesday June 3rd, Australian of the Year and Our Watch Ambassador Rosie Batty delivered a rallying cry to the Australian media, urging them to use their influence to drive nation-wide change in the culture, behaviours and attitudes that underpin domestic violence.

Rosie Batty addresses the Press Club  Image

Rosie used her National Press Club address to launch the Our Watch Awards for exemplary reporting to end violence against women. She said journalists were “uniquely placed to help stop violence before it starts”. 

The 280 seat capacity Press Club was packed to the rafters with many high profile politicians and stakeholders. 

Silence fell as Rosie took to the lectern to deliver her address, “Stopping Violence Before it Happens”. Rosie’s powerful speech unequivocally cited gender inequality as the driving force behind the violence. “This is absolutely a gendered issue”, she said.

The impact of Rosie’s words were soon felt beyond the room. At question time later in the day, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said, “Rosie Batty gave a remarkable speech that I and other members of parliament had the privilege of attending. About solving family violence in Australia, she said that it is up to you, it is up to me, it is up to all of us. Will the Prime Minister join me again in renewing our parliament's commitment to do all we can to eliminate family violence in Australia?”

In response, the Prime Minister Tony Abbott answered: “My message and, I am sure, the message of everyone in this chamber to our brothers, to our sons and to our mates—because, let's face it, overwhelmingly this is a problem of male perpetrators against female victims—is: no more, never ever again. This is not a women's issue. It is a men's issue. It is a national issue. All of us—the men in this chamber, in particular—have a real challenge to rise to.”

The Our Watch Awards will build on the excellent work of Domestic Violence Victoria and others in Victoria whose collaborative efforts created the Eliminating Violence Against Women Media Awards (EVA’s). They will be administered by the Walkley Foundation.

The awards have been developed as part of the Our Watch National Media Engagement (NME) Project. Our Watch received funding from the Commonwealth Department of Social Services to develop and implement the NME Project. It is an initiative under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

Our Watch encourages media around the country to enter and members of the community to encourage journalists to enter by 8 July 2015.  

To enter your work and find more information about the awards visit The Walkley Foundation website.

For statistics and reporting resources, see our reporting guidelines. 

Find out more about the National Media Engagement Project.

Find out more about the launch of the awards at the National Press Club. 


Video 1 courtesy of The National Press Club.
Video 2 courtesy of ABC 

Media contact

For enquiries or further information: Hannah Grant, Our Watch, mobile 0448 844 930, email Hannah.Grant@ourwatch.org.au

*If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:
“If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000”

About Our Watch 

Our Watch’s (previously the Foundation to Prevent Violence against Women and their Children) purpose is to raise awareness and engage the community in action to prevent violence against women and their children.
Our Watch was conceived of and brought into existence in 2013 by the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of Victoria. The Northern Territory and South Australian governments have also since become members of the organisation.
Our Watch’s work derives from the government’s commitment to the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022 and gives expression to many of the activities in the Second Action Plan 2013–2016 – Moving Ahead.