Clementine Ford recognises the 2015 Australian of the Year as a true heroine:
Rosie Batty, thank you for your service. You are a hero and an exemplary human being. Your work will not be forgotten .
Yet Batty’s autobiography acknowledges her gross errors of judgement. In 1995 Batty decided to “cut” Greg Anderson out of her life – page 41 – owing to the “emotional and physical abuse to which he had been subjecting [her].” Greg Anderson departed as requested.
Almost eight years had passed since I’d seen Greg and we’d had no contact at all in that time. I was bemused that he would ask after me. What would he look like? Would he have mer someone and married like everyone else? Was he still the arrogant tosser I had thrown from my house all those years ago?”
The intense anger I had felt towards him had faded over the last eight years, and I was intrigued to catch up and see him.” (page 45)
So Batty, eight years after telling him to leave her life, seeks out and becomes pregnant to Greg Anderson, a man she knew to be physically and emotionally abusive. Batty had no complaints, the formerly abusive man somehow morphing into the ideal partner:
“Sometime Greg would stay overnight, and sometimes he would go back to where he was living in St Kilda. I even went so far as to buy him a pair of slippers to wear on the night we would sit in from of the fire, watching the wood we had chopped slowly burn to cinders. There was a sense of rekindling a relationship that hadn’t worked out before, of these two kindred spirits who had gotten to a more mature point in their respective lives.” (page 47)
Batty met Anderson in 1992 when they worked together at a recruitment company and the two began a romantic relationship that lasted two years. Batty has said that Anderson showed signs of sexual violence whilst they were together, including allegedly attempting to rape a friend of Batty’s, after which Batty ended the two year relationship. Almost eight years later she initiated contact with him and resumed a brief sexual relationship, which led to Batty’s pregnancy. She says she had never planned to have a child, given her lifelong fear of loss, and that her son was an accident.
Far from being a hero, Batty made exceptionally poor decisions that led to the birth and ultimate murder of her son.