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Rosie Batty steps down, closes anti-family-violence foundation

Vocal anti-family-violence figure, Rosie Batty, has announced she is stepping down as chief executive and closing the Luke Batty Foundation, a decision she said was “difficult” but “right”. 

In a statement published on the foundation’s Facebook page last week, Batty said she needed to step away from her public role for a while and take time to breathe.

“It has been a gruelling and unrelenting four years in the public eye and I sincerely thank you for being with me every step of the way,” she wrote.

“Unfortunately I realise that I can’t keep going at this pace forever. It is unsustainable and I am tired. I now need to prioritise my self-care and recognise my limitations – advice that has been given to me by trusted friends for some time.”

The foundation is no longer accepting donations and will distribute funds to appropriate not-for-profit family violence initiatives in line with the purpose of the foundation. The Board has appointed a transitional Chief Executive Officer to manage this process.

Batty will continue to combat family violence behind-the-scenes by advocating for victims to influence policy reform and supporting the government’s reform in Victoria as Chair of the Victim Survivor’s Advisory Council.

The statement has been reprinted here in full:

Dear Friends

It has been a gruelling and unrelenting four years in the public eye and I sincerely thank you for being with me every step of the way.

Unfortunately I realise that I can’t keep going at this pace forever. It is unsustainable and I am tired. I now need to prioritise my self-care and recognise my limitations – advice that has been given to me by trusted friends for some time.

I have spoken at hundreds of speaking events across the country and overseas, and campaigned extensively whilst crisscrossing the nation. I’ve done more media interviews than I ever thought possible and ventured into the most remote and beautiful parts of Australia to ensure that our Aboriginal sisters are not forgotten.

Now I need time to myself. Time to mourn and remember Luke, the centre of my world. Time to spend at home with my beautiful animals that continue to comfort me in ways that only four legged companions can.

This is a difficult decision but I know it’s the right decision – I need to step away from my public role for a while and take time to breathe.

The Luke Batty Foundation has supported me on this amazing but bitter sweet journey and has enabled me to advocate and campaign in a way that would otherwise have been impossible. However, it is now taking steps to respectfully close its doors and transition its programs so that Luke’s legacy can continue to give voices to victims of family violence. Funds will be distributed to appropriate not-for-profit family violence initiatives in line with the purpose of the Foundation and the Board has appointed a transitional Chief Executive Officer to manage this process.

For the moment, the Never Alone campaign will be quiet.

We started Never Alone with a mission to make sure that victims could not be forgotten and put them at the centre of a national conversation about family violence. We did this.

We shone a light on an issue that has been ignored for too long.

I am so proud of everything we have achieved. Together we gave victims a voice and demanded our leaders act.

From compulsory Respectful Relationships education, to family law reform – we have been at the forefront of driving change.

While I am not disappearing entirely, I do need to step away for a while. I intend to explore opportunities that don’t require me to be in the public eye quite so much. I shall be supporting the government’s reform here in Victoria as Chair of the Victim Survivor’s Advisory Council and I shall continue to advocate for victims to influence policy reform where I can be most effective.

There is still much to be done before victims receive the respect that they deserve and I am determined to continue my advocacy to influence the systemic reforms that are still desperately needed, including the family law court system.

To everyone who has stood beside me over the last four years, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thank you for remembering Luke and for making sure that he didn’t die in vain. My little boy will never be forgotten.

Always your friend,

Rosie.

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