Thursday, 2 January 2014

What Can I Do? Stop The Violence

It's a shocking fact widely reported that one patient was admitted to St Vincent's Hospital every 30 minutes after being knocked unconscious on New Year's Eve.

One patient. Every 30 minutes. In one hospital alone. 

Alcohol fuelled violence seems to be scarily on the rise, and it makes me wonder - what do we do? How do we stop it? How do we protect our young men from thugs that drink too much and thrive on the fuel to rile up their aggressive streak?

Daniel Christie is 18 years old and fighting for his life after being king hit by Shaun McNeil, in which police allege was a series of unprovoked attacks.

Any google search will suggest that this slight teenager, on the cusp of the rest of his life, was never a match for the 25 year old labourer who took him down.

I feel sick about it. Sick that someone would do this - and that so many violent men are doing this. 

Sick to my stomach for Daniel's family. I can't even imagine what they're going through. 

Sick that it feels like nothing's being done about this rise in violence on the streets. 

Thomas Kelly died last year - in almost the same spot. What did we learn from that? 

Apparently not much, except that Thomas Kelly is very much-loved and very much-missed by his family and friends. 

Oh and the perpetrator got off very lightly. 

But Thomas Kelly made us all sit up and think - how can this happen to our kids? Thomas Kelly 

Out in the heat today I was pinning laundry on the clothesline, a quiet meditation, thinking about Daniel's family. A grief welling up inside of me. I have a son. Maybe you do too. I want to do something about this violence. This violence is not ok. I want Daniel's family to know they are not alone. I quietly contemplated what I could do for this family. 

Flowers are nice. A meal is great. But what can I do for Daniel Christie's family? For Thomas Kelly's family? 

I can use my voice. 

That's the sum of it. 

It really doesn't feel like enough, but if we all start talking about this - and acknowledging that it's not ok for men to endure this violence, for our good men to endure this violence then we start a murmur. We strike up a conversation. It becomes part of our vernacular. 

Matt and I briefly chatted about the violence, the out-of-control-ness, the what-to-do-ness. 

Matt suggested when the Doctor was old enough that he not frequent those areas. 

But that's years off yet - and yes, while I see avoiding areas as a good (but which areas do you avoid, because unlike a movie where attacks mostly occur in small dark alleys - it's out in high traffic public areas, anywhere really) temporary solution - we can't live our lives wrapped in cotton wool. 

And we shouldn't. 

And we won't. 

I'm sure that all our good men have endured some kind of unprovoked violence.

Let's not tolerate it. Let's not quieten down about it.

Yes men have testosterone. But we're not cavemen and we don't go out looking to harm others in this playground of life. 

I want to do something for my son. For my nephews. For all the good men out there that don't thrive on violence.

I want to do something for Daniel Christie. 


Sam Stone said...

Such a great post Lexi! I have been thinking about these two families too since this new years eve incident. It makes my heart ache. I too have a son now, he will be one next week and I would never get over it if something happened to him. I cry for Thomas Kelly's family.

Andrea Hamann said...

There is something about this violence and alcohol driven violence which has got to be a sign of something more insidious in our culture- that people have so little regard for others and so much anger. I just don't get where it comes from. Who are these people that perpetrate this violence? What backgrounds do they have? How does it get to this violence? if binge drinking is part of the problem then why aren't we addressing that part of our culture- because there is a culture of it which is somehow seen as acceptable, and until that changes laws won't make a difference. Aargh, like you Ivan flummoxed by it and saddened.

Lisa said...

Here in Newcastle, the service of alcohol is reduced and limited from 10pm. It has worked in cutting back alcohol-fueled violence.

Amanda @ Ellieboo said...

Well said Lexi! Such upsetting news and so completely pointless.

Corinne said...

My husband and I have talked about it and have to admit it really turns us off moving home.
Someone below mentioned the Newcastle solution and I think the government has been gutless not to implement it in Sydney, they are so influenced by the power of the Hotels Association.

Jane said...

I too have been thinking and worrying. I have a cousin who was beaten and now has an acquired brain injury. This has changed the face of our family permanently. I think you are right. We must keep talking about it.