Victim stories and victim policy: Is there a case for a narrative victimology?

Sandra Walklate, Jane Maree Maher, Jude McCulloch, Kate Fitz-Gibbon, Kara Beavis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Since the 1980s, victims’ voices have been increasingly heard and have been influential in policy debates. Since that time, the nature and presence of those voices has changed shape and form from the influence and presence of victim centred organizations to the rise of the high profile individual victim. The purpose of this article is to explore the presence of one victim’s story, Rosie Batty, and to examine her influence on the rise of the policy agenda on family violence in Australia. This article considers the ways in which this story gained traction and influenced the reform of family violence policy in Australia, and considers the extent to which an understanding of this process contributes to an (emergent) narrative victimology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199–215
Number of pages17
JournalCrime, Media, Culture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Narrative victimology
  • the ‘Batty effect’
  • victim policy
  • victim stories

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