2015 Australian of the Year Rosie Batty has said coping with the pain of losing her son, Luke, in 2014 is "still hard, every day" in an emotional interview with actor, comedian and artist Anh Do on Wednesday night.
Appearing on Anh's Brush with Fame, Batty opened up about the night 11-year-old Luke was violently killed by his father and the moment she realised she could "make a difference" for women and children living in situations involving domestic violence.
Luke was killed by his father, 54-year-old Greg Anderson, at Tyabb cricket ground south-east of Melbourne on February 12, 2014 after years of family violence. In the hours after the tragic incident, Batty said she was left to deal with a pain that people "can never imagine".
"I said [to police], 'I want to go and see my little boy,' and they said, 'No, Rosie. No. We're looking after him.' But for him to be alone at night and cold, it was just horrible," she said.
"And you just, you just have to... you can never imagine. You can never imagine the pain that's possible. And you can never imagine that you would ever, ever have to face that about your child. And there was nothing, anything that could be done."
Rosie Batty deserves nothing but the best life has to offer. A reminder no-one can take your dignity. #AnhsBrushWithFame— Luke Royes (@lukeroyes) April 19, 2017
Since Luke's death, Batty has publicly campaigned for improvements to services provided to victims of family violence -- something she said makes her feel like "I'm able to make a difference in some small way."
In 2015, Batty was named Australian of the Year for her efforts in the area after her story of loss jolted the country into realising "family violence happens to everybody, no matter how nice your house is, how intelligent you are."
"There is a moment in time that is very brief for you to make a difference. So I think I felt, if I'm able to make a difference in some small way, you know, I'll be open to speaking to media or doing whatever comes up in that way," she said.
"Nobody says you have to do anything with the award. You know, some people have just received it gratefully. I guess for me, it was an opportunity to immerse myself and distract myself and just fill a huge void.
"I think, well, providing I am making some difference, then I know Luke hasn't died in vain. But I think of so many women and so many children who are terrorised and living in their homes with no choice, no safety, nowhere to go. You realise how much more work there is still to be done."
Throughout the show, which sees Anh Do paint stunning images of his guests while discussing their lives with them, Do was visibly moved by Batty's story.
"She's been through so much, but I'm struck by how Rosie refuses to let grief define her," he said.
Do unveiled his depiction of Batty at the end of the show, in which he said he tried to capture her "strength, courage [and] compassion," as well as another tribute image to Luke as a gift for her giving "so much of herself".
You can see Anh struggling to stay composed & not show how much Rosie Batty's incredible & devastating story affects him #AnhsBrushWithFame— Antoinette Lattouf (@antoinette_news) April 19, 2017
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