A campaign to stop violence #heroeswalkaway
Senselessness, randomness, consequences.
In any discussion about alcohol-fuelled violence these three words stand out.
Within seconds of throwing a punch, everything is thrown into overdrive. Family connections change and people’s lives are transformed forever.
This week news.com.au launched Real Heroes Walk Away – a national campaign to raise awareness about the issue and help to stop the violence.
The community response has been overwhelming.
Among the thousands of comments supporting the cause there have been the individual stories of anger and heartbreak.
As an anonymous reader posted on Friday: “Like Thomas Kelly, my teenage son was also randomly attacked in an unprovoked assault (a while ago). He sustained serious injuries, requiring plastic surgery & now has a metal plate in his head for the rest of his life. After several years of what I could only describe as a nightmare, the perpetrator is still out on the streets, due to lack of sufficient evidence. This is the reality of the devastation these thugs leave in their wake, as they laugh & move onto their next victim, unaware or uncaring about the fact that an innocent victim & their family’s lives have been irreversibly changed forever by their violent, senseless actions. My heart breaks for Thomas Kelly’s family. The scale of their loss is incomprehensible. We will be forever grateful that our own son survived his ordeal & I am now determined & dedicated to doing what I can to help stop this violent scourge on our society. Since my own son’s assault, I have also learnt of similar unprovoked attacks on several friend’s teens, friends of friends teens & recently, one of our own staff members at work (all good, decent people). This is more than a disgrace. It is a bloody outrage! Something needs to be done - NOW!”
Ray Quinn, a social worker and manager of the Acquired Brain Injury Outreach Service, in Buranda Queensland is well aware of the stress and grief a random attack brings to those closest to the victim and to the wider community.
Mr Quinn told news.com.au families and friends feel frustrated they will never see their son or daughter develop. Children mourn the loss of a once able-bodied parent and medical professionals despair over the lack of funding to let them support the victims over a longer period.
It’s clear that cooperation is imperative. Some of the most common feedback this week called for governments and politicians to work together:
“How about a bit of leadership from government in implementing a universal ban on non-tempered glass at all venues? The last Qld State Government squibbed the issue. I’m sure that campaign donations from the Liquor Industry had nothing to do with it, so let’s re-visit the issue nationally.”
One week in and the high profile support for this campaign is already heartening.
High-profile Australians supporting the campaign include Prime Minister Julia Gillard, MasterChef’s Julie Goodwin, author Jessica Rudd, NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell, South Australian Premier Jay Wetherill, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, MP Kate Ellis, Paul Roos (founder of the Sydney Swans No Dickheads policy) and AFL star Nic Naitanui.
But there’s a long way to go yet. Show your support by clicking on the news.com.au campaign page, signing the online petition or sharing one of our stories on Facebook or Twitter.
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