Foundations Unite to Eradicate Community Violence
24 June 2014 at 10:57 am
A new coalition of nine foundations from across Australia have joined together to tackle violence in the community.
Organisations forming the Stop the Punch collective represent six states, some founded by the family and friends of community violence victims.
They include: Step Back. THINK. (Victoria), Sammy D Foundation (South Australia), The Injury Control Council of WA (Western Australia), IF Foundation (Western Australia), Stop. One Punch Can Kill (Victoria), Enough is Enough (New South Wales), Wake Up (New South Wales), Amee Meredith (who lost her partner to assault, Northern Territory), and Rebekah Stokes (an assault victim, Queensland).
The collective plans to develop a charter and establish a website in the coming weeks.
“Until now, a number of organisations across the country have been working independently towards the same goals. We have joined forces at a national level so we can have greater impact and achieve long-term change,” Brett Duncanson, Chairperson of the Sammy D Foundation, said.
“Stop the Punch aims to eliminate community violence by leading a major cultural shift through education, awareness-raising, advocacy and research.
“Every week we continue to see people killed or seriously injured due to random acts of senseless violence and this carnage has to stop.”
Hugh van Cuylenburg, CEO of member organisation Step Back. THINK., said influencing and connecting with young people would be crucial to the collective’s success.
“We believe that by educating the current generation of young people and disrupting early patterns of anti-social behaviour, we can eliminate this issue from our community,” he said.
“A number of the member organisations have been working independently on education programs for schools which we hope can be consolidated and rolled-out nationally.”
The group will push for government and corporate funding to roll-out their action plan which includes:
Education – introducing evidence-based anti-violence programs into schools nationally;
Raising awareness – sending a strong, clear message that community violence is unacceptable in our society;
Advocacy – championing the anti-violence message to key stakeholders;
Research – ensuring all activities and programs are informed by up-to-date evidence.
About 95 people have been killed in ‘one-punch assaults’ since 2000 and others have been killed or seriously injured in acts of broader community violence and drug and alcohol-fuelled assaults.