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17th Law Week event: Boys behaving badly (and what to do about it)

May 19, 2023 @ 6:30 pm 8:00 pm

6.00 for 6.30 pm. Sir Zelman Cowen Centre, Victoria University, Queen Street Campus, Lecture Theatre G02, 295 Queen Street, Melbourne (enter from Little Lonsdale Street.)

Sisters in Crime Australia is again proud to join forces with the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre, Victoria University, to present its 17th Law Week event.

An expert panel, Elena Campbell, Ahona Guha, and Sherele Moody, chaired by Bronwyn Naylor will debate how to combat toxic masculinity and the violence perpetrated against women.

We know the terrible (and terrifying) facts – one woman a week dies in Australia as a result of ‘intimate partner violence’. We know that since the age of 15, one in four women has experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former intimate partner. We know that almost 10 women a day are hospitalised for assault injuries perpetrated by a spouse or domestic partner.

We know that more resources are now utilised in dealing with the results of male violence – more refuges, more services, more effective policing . . . We know that court procedures are being improved.

What we don’t know is why we can’t stop men from behaving badly in the first place. What we don’t know is how to change men’s behaviour fundamentally. How do we mobilise for change?

Elena Campbell is a lawyer, consultant, and researcher who has worked in legal and social policy for nearly 25 years. With expertise in therapeutic justice, equal opportunity, human rights, and gendered violence, Elena oversees a program of research at the Centre for Innovative Justice at RMIT University which predominantly focuses on domestic, family, and sexual violence and the relationship of trauma to people’s contact with the criminal justice system.  

Elena has led projects for Government departments and courts to support the implementation of recommendations from Victoria’s Royal Commission into Family Violence (RCFV). She has been the Chief Investigator in ANROWS-funded projects concerning perpetrator interventions and the use of violence in the home by young people. Elena has also led system design and research with people who have experienced or used different kinds of interpersonal harm and violence. Across this program, Elena’s work points to the importance of justice and wider systems successfully engaging men who use violence and doing so at an earlier point.

Ahona Guha is a clinical and forensic psychologist with extensive experience in working with those who perpetrate harm — including stalkers, sex offenders, violent offenders, and those who threaten, bully, and harass. She has a deep understanding of the psychological and social factors that cause people to abuse others. In turn, her clinical work in the trauma treatment field has led her to recognise the enormous impacts of complex trauma, and the failures of systems when working with those who have been victimised. Info here on The Good Men Project.

Ahona has just published Reclaim: Understanding complex trau/ma and those who abuse (Scribe Publishing). Her work has appeared in The AgeThe GuardianThe Saturday PaperBreathe Magazine, SBS, and on the ABC.

Sherele Moody is an anti-violence advocate, staunch feminist, and an award-winning journalist. She has spent more than 25 years reporting for Australia’s leading media companies. Her specialty is writing on violence against women and children. Her articles generate discussion, challenging myths and misconceptions, and igniting debate on the complex and highly emotive subjects of gendered violence, misogyny, sexism, and toxic masculinity. Sherele has been documenting the killing of women and children since 2015.  Her projects include Australian Femicide Watch, the RED HEART Campaign, the Australian Femicide & Child Death Map, and the Memorial to Women and Children Lost to Violence and She Matters. 

Her work has been recognised with a Walkley Our Watch, multiple Clarions, a SOPA award, and multiple Women in Media awards. 

Headshot Bronwyn Naylor

Bronwyn Naylor is Professor of Law in the Graduate School of Business and Law, RMIT University, and has degrees in law and criminology. She has been teaching, researching, and publishing in criminal law, law and gender, and human rights for around 30 years. She has worked with Law Reform Commissions on reforms to homicide laws and sexual offences, and has published extensively in these areas, including on defences to intimate partner homicides. 

Bronwyn is a co-author of the LSB-funded report Out of character? Legal responses to intimate partner homicides by men in Victoria 2005-2014 (with Debbie Kirkwood, Mandy McKenzie, and Danielle Tyson) (2016) and a number of related scholarly publications. She received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2022. 

Men or ‘brothers-in-law’ welcome.

Sir Zelman Cowen Centre, Victoria University City Queen Street Campus, Lecture Theatre G02

295 Queen Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
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$10 – $22 $20 non-members; $15 concession; $12 Sisters in Crime and Writers Victoria members, $10 under 19. Tickets not sold prior to the event will be available at the door for $22/$18/$15/$10. Please book by 2pm Friday 19 May. No refunds after Thursday 18 May.

Additional information: Carmel Shute, Secretary, Sisters in Crime: 0412 569 356 admin@sistersincrime.org.au