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Rosie Batty Says Family Violence Would Get More Funding If It Was Called 'Family Terrorism'

With 41 women murdered in Australia in 2015 alone, Rosie Batty has urged the media to help prevent family violence in her National Press Club address.

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Australian of the Year Rosie Batty has suggested the federal government would invest more money in family violence initiatives if it was called "family terrorism".

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

During her speech to the National Press Club in Canberra, she was asked by a journalist how she would rate Tony Abbott's work on domestic violence.

She described the prime minister as being "well-intended" but lacking strong leadership on the issue, and criticised the government for lack of funding and making cuts to essential frontline services.

We need to see strong leadership, we need to see investment, long-term strategies, bipartisan approaches. This is not going away. We have to clearly put some substantial funding into this issue.You know, amazingly the response is when we describe terrorism and there is a slight threat of terrorism - the amazing responses we see. So let's start calling it family terrorism and perhaps we start to see that investment of funding being applied where it needs to be.

Rosie Batty told the National Press Club how she spoke to the media after she found out that her 11-year-old son, Luke, had been murdered by his father, her estranged partner Greg Anderson, in February last year.

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

"The media had never actually experienced this kind of response from a victim so soon after a tragedy and they were in awe and they were sharing grief with me in that very, very raw moment," she said.

Batty said she was open and honest when she talked to journalists.

"You didn't have to fill gaps in my story. It developed a mutual platform of respect and that was established right at the very beginning. This respect has made a huge difference on my journey."

Since then, Rosie Batty has worked tirelessly to campaign on behalf of women and children affected by family violence. She praised the media for helping to ignite the national conversation but said the issue has only recently been deemed newsworthy, and no longer one of "Australia's dirty little secrets."

Recent research commissioned by an organisation founded by the commonwealth and Victorian governments, Our Watch shows disturbing views among young people about domestic violence.

ABC News 24

"One in four young men believe that controlling and violent behaviours are signs of male strength and one in six 12-24 year-olds believe women should know their place," she said.

"Where are the values around this? What we do need to do is challenge them, so our young people are clearly growing up understanding what is clearly right and wrong, with no grey areas in between."

You can read Rosie Batty's speech on the Our Watch website.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000. For more information about a service in your state or local area download the DAISY App in the App Store or Google Play.

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