Rosie Batty 'gutted' with Baden-Clay conviction downgrade
FAMILY violence awareness campaigner Rosie Batty yesterday expressed her shock that former Brisbane real estate agent Gerard Baden-Clay had his conviction for killing wife Allison downgraded from murder to manslaughter.
Prior to her keynote address at the USC Innovation Centre yesterday, the Australian of the Year said she was "gutted" that Mr Baden-Clay's appeal had been successful.
"While we're talking about perpetrator behaviour, I have to say I'm gutted, totally gutted, about the appeal for the family of Allison Baden-Clay," she said.
"It absolutely sends the same message that I'm saying all of the time, that we undermine, disregard and disrespect a victim."
She said decisions like the Baden-Clay ruling, as well as the changed verdict in the Oscar Pistorius case in South Africa, indicated the judicial response to violence against women needed a "complete overhaul".
"When we talk about victim-blaming, when we talk about education and awareness and understanding of this complex issue, I would put (judicial overhaul) at the top of the list," she said.
"It is very much entrenched with the same type of community misconceptions.
"What is very dismaying is they're making decisions affecting people's lives."
She said the decision gave no justice to Allison and her family.
"It completely devalues the whole process of trauma," she said. "It sends the message of enabling the violence to continue."
She said while "throwing everyone in prison" wasn't the answer, courts needed to have a "zero tolerance" attitude to violent crimes.
"A lot of decisions that are made through the court process, we may not have all the information but we struggle a lot with the decisions that are made," she said.
"We bring up our children to understand the difference between right and wrong and consequences for doing wrong behaviour.
"What are you teaching a perpetrator of violence if you're just undermining the extent of trauma and terrorism that has been placed in that family home."
Ms Batty said her ex-partner's decision to kill their son Luke was a "final act of control".
"(Greg) didn't kill me but he killed my son," she said.