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Wednesday 2 April 2014

Rosie Batty: Studio 10 Interview Video + Joe Hildebrand Statement

First, a warning: this is very confronting viewing, and may trigger traumatic memories of violence.

This morning, Rosie Batty, the mother who lost her precious only child Luke at the hands of her ex-husband Greg went on the Channel 10 show 'Studio 10' to talk about her new fundraising efforts for the Luke Batty Fund but first, the discussion turned to the proposed Victorian laws that will send mothers to jail if they do not report abusive partners.

Photo: 3AW

It's a gob-smacking new law, and the panel discussed the law before they interviewed Rosie.

Rosie responded to the comments she'd heard on the panel before the interview, and took exception to panellist Joe Hildebrand's comments in particular.

Watch both clips below (the discussion prior to Rosie's interview, as well as the interview with Rosie and the panel). Joe's statement to the below - just released around an hour ago - is after the clip:

Here is Joe's statement, posted on his Facebook page:

Hi all,

Here is the statement I made earlier today about the controversy my comments on reporting child sex abuse have caused. In short, I said there is no excuse for allowing children to be exposed to child sex abuse and I stand by this 100 per cent. There have been many other comments and opinions wrongly attributed to me. Some of them are appalling. I will shortly post the full video of both segments and people can make up their own minds.


The statement:

My comments today about proposed laws attempting to enforce the reporting of child sex abuse have been misrepresented and misunderstood.
For the record I do not support the jailing of domestic violence victims who fail to report child sex abuse, and never said that I did. On the contrary, I said I thought it was extremely unlikely it would ever happen and that under the proposed reforms women in fear for their safety were exempt.
My comments were in no way directed to or about Rosie Batty, who was scheduled to appear on the show for a separate segment about a fundraiser for her late son Luke. I am certainly very sorry for any distress they caused her.
To suggest that I support the jailing of women in these circumstances is completely wrong. In the initial segment I stated that I did not think anyone in that situation should or would be jailed. In the discussion that followed with Rosie Batty, I stated again that there was in fact a specific exemption for people who failed to report child sex abuse because they felt their safety was threatened.
What I did say was that the safety of a child must be paramount in considering these issues. If a child is being sexually abused then I strongly feel it is the responsibility of all those who are aware of it to report it. I also said that to allow a child to be continually exposed to sexual abuse is, frankly, inexcusable. I stand by this completely.
The main point that I repeatedly made was that tougher reporting requirements would hopefully act as a point of contact to help liberate women and children from abusive relationships.
The paramount concern for me – and I suspect most people – is and must be the protection of children. We cannot allow a child to be exposed to abuse if it is in our power to stop it.

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