Stop the Coward’s Punch!
A press release was recently hosted by the Federal Minister for Home Affairs, Karen Andrews in our office to announce the Federal Government providing $1M of funding to the Charity ‘Stop the Coward Punch’. The Stop the Coward Punch Campaign founded in 2012 by former professional boxer, four-time world champion Danny Green and long standing firm client is a national effort to stop the scourge of fatal coward punches in our community.
Since 2000, 172 Australian’s have lost their lives to coward punches with a considerable amount more who have been caused significant injury. These coward punch victims who do not die usually end up permanently mentally and/or physically disabled from the assault. These cases typically involve complex neurosurgery and a prolonged intensive care hospital admission, followed by rehabilitation and ongoing care to manage the physical, cognitive and emotional damage incurred with the assault. It is highly unusual for a coward punch victim to survive without any permanent damage; typically, they experience a range of cognitive impairments including difficulties with memory, concentration and learning, and most are unable to return to work. They never regain full cognitive ability again, but just learn to adapt. These are the ‘lucky’ ones, many survivors are left with profound disabilities years after the assault and are confined to a wheelchair requiring permanent care.
After our recent research initiative findings reported by the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine we understand that need for education, awareness and intervention is as important as it has ever been in our quest to end the coward punch
Facts and figures:
- The median age of fatal victims is 44 years of age (age ranges from 18-71 yrs.)
- The median age of a perpetrator who has thrown a fatal coward punch is 23 years of age (age range 14-54 years)
- 82% of victims experience loss consciousness and/or serious brain impact
Campaign Key Achievements:
- Danny Green personally funded production of a television advertisement in 2014 portraying the effects of a Coward Punch on victims and their families. CPC recently produced five hard hitting television advertisements with intent to roll these out over the next 12 – 18 months.
- Sentencing Amendment (Coward’s Punch Manslaughter and Other Matters) Bill 2014 introduced to amend manslaughter laws with the first person sentenced under the laws in 2017 receiving a 10 year sentence for a coward punch.
- “Coward Punch” term progressively replaces the wording of king hit and one-punch as common language for describing these cowardly acts.
- The clubs, pubs and alcohol industry continue to play an active role in our awareness-raising efforts – this is essential to help Stop the Coward Punch. Data reflects this continued effort has seen a decrease in venue related assaults by 50%.
- Commencement of a national education program via our Cool Australia Education Modules rolled out to secondary schools just six weeks ago has seen Coward Punch lessons reach over 16,000 students nationally. An outstanding first step.
- Data reflects that coward punch assaults have a declining trend over the past 10 years, indicating that the campaign is working. Continued efforts are still required to save lives and remove this scourge from society.
Why we needed further funding:
- Further research is required into understanding the impacts on and requirements of surviving victims of coward punch attacks. The number of these surviving victims is likely to be significantly higher than the current fatality rate. These assaults also have a significant impact on their families, friends and the wider community. The emotional impact on emergency services treating one-punch patients every weekend around Australia is enormous and the financial burden on the Australian healthcare and justice systems costs taxpayers millions of dollars every year.
- Further research on survivors will allow the campaign to continually enhance and customise our education program and extend our contract with online educator Cool Australia to ensure we are able to change behaviour and mindset of future generations. Our aim is intervention and harm prevention at the earliest possible stages.
- Continued awareness and media presence. The ongoing reminder to the public through our wide reaching all format media platforms, including television commercials and awareness media weeks are vital to drive home the message. Most people have a son, brother, nephew or friend that has been involved in a coward punch assault in some form. Continued awareness is crucial to eradicating this unnecessary violence.
If you have any questions about the Charity, Stop the Coward Punch or if you want to be involed. Please contact us today.
Who to get in touch with