Perpetrator naming key to male accountability

QUT professor Michael Flood. | Newsreel
QUT professor Michael Flood is a long-term advocate in the fight against violence towards women. | Photo : Supplied by QUT

Greg Anderson, Adrian Bayley and Rowan Baxter. Do these names ring a bell?

Perhaps if we mention Rosie Batty or Jill Meagher or Hannah Clarke, the penny will drop.

The trio of men are the perpetrators of heinous crimes and it’s names like this that Professor Michael Flood want us to start mentioning as we tackle the current crisis of violence against women.

The QUT researcher has spent decades advocating for gender equality and engaging men and boys in domestic and sexual violence prevention and believes more needs to be known about the perpetrators.

“I like mentioning the perpetrators because it’s important to shift public conversations about domestic and sexual violence to bring the perpetrators into the picture and to seek to hold them accountable,’’ Professor Flood said.

Over more than three decades, Professor Flood, of the QUT School of Justice, has been drawn to issues involving gender equality, feminism, domestic and sexual violence, raising boys and what it means to be a man.

His extensive work in these fields – first as an educator and advocate, then academic – has put the notion of ‘healthy masculinities’ on the national and international agenda.

Professor Flood published the first Australian research on the extent of children’s exposure to pornography and gave expert testimony to the Royal Commission into Family Violence and his research informs national anti-domestic violence charity White Ribbon.

He is currently working on “the third key benchmark of progress in Australia’’ in the form of the Perpetration Project – a national survey collecting information on perpetrators.

“At the moment, we know very little about the people using violence,” he said.

It’s why when talking about Rosie Batty or Jill Meagher or Hannah Clarke, Professor Flood will also mention the perpetrators of these horrific crimes – Greg Anderson, Adrian Bayley and Rowan Baxter.

Read an in-depth profile on Professor Flood in our People section.

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