Joe Hildebrand apologises to Rosie Batty
Studio 10 co-host Joe Hildebrand apologises to Rosie Batty after saying there should be "no excuses" in not reporting child abuse. (Courtesy Network 10)PT2M43S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-35zt0 620 349 April 3, 2014
Media personality Joe Hildebrand has apologised to family violence survivor Rosie Batty following a fiery exchange on Channel Ten's Studio 10.
Ms Batty, whose son Luke was killed by his father at a Tyabb cricket field in February, criticised Hildebrand on the show on Wednesday after a discussion of proposed Victorian child abuse reporting laws.
During the discussion, Hildebrand said there was no excuse for not reporting child abuse and that family violence victims needed to be empowered to leave their partners.
Hitting out: Rosie Batty. Photo: Channel Ten
Ms Batty described Hildebrand's views as “ so, so misguided”.
"This is beyond my comprehension that again the woman who's the victim is punished," she said during a live cross later that morning.
At the start of the show on Thursday, Hildebrand apologised for causing Ms Batty distress, but reiterated his stance that partners were responsible for raising the alarm if children were being abused, even if those partners were victims themselves.
“I have said and will happily say again that I'm terribly sorry to cause [Ms Batty] any distress. God knows she's suffered enough,” he said.
“Rosie Batty has been incredibly brave. This is a subject that is intensely personal to her, and not one ... that we intended to raise in her presence or involve her in at all, but of course when she did want to respond, we gave her every opportunity to.”
Hildebrand stood by his view that partners should leave abusive relationships and that saying so was not “blaming the victim”.
“It is the role of every adult who is aware of children being sexually abused to blow the whistle on it; it is their job to raise the alarm,” he said.
“In cases when the person who is in a position to do that is also a victim of abuse themselves, that makes it enormously hard, I certainly know that, but that is not a reason to say 'we'll just let it go on.'
“That does not help the child victim, that does not help the abuse victim in the relationship; that's an appalling state of affairs, it can't be allowed to continue,” Hilderbrand said.
“That is not blaming the victim at all - what I am saying is, to the victim: be a survivor, use whatever means you have to get out.”
Ms Batty, who has campaigned to raise awareness of family violence following her son's death, told Channel Nine's Today show on Thursday that she held no malice towards Hildebrand for his comments.