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SBS Insight: Punch Drunk | Tuesday 21 August, 2012

“What makes a night on the town turn violent?” #InsightSBS

Last week, SBS Insight turned its focus to the issue of street violence. With guests from the legal and medical professions, the police force as well as victims of violence and their relatives and perpetrators, a variety of perspectives were covered, with the program sparking a highly engaging and vitally important discussion.

The team at Step Back Think was proud to see two particular guests on the show: David Mitchell and Andrew Macready-Bryan. A victim of street violence, himself, Step Back Think Committee member, David bravely opened up to share his experience – recounting details of the night of his brutal attack and the battle for his life that followed. Andrew, a close friend of Step Back Think, and James Macready-Bryan’s father, was also an incredible spokesperson for the cause.

In seeking an answer to the question, “What makes a night on the town turn violent?” Insight called for its guests to share their experiences and corresponding views, on the relative factors and influences of violence on our streets.

While the involvement of alcohol featured heavily in discussion, the team at Step Back Think was glad to see the view of violence as an inherently cultural issue strongly promoted by Insight's participants.

As an organization, which seeks to spread awareness of the consequences of street violence, Step Back Think recognizes the importance of acknowledging the dangerous correlation between excessive drinking and violent behaviour. Indeed, there are myriad factors that contribute to and cause violent behaviour, stemming from environmental, social, economical, psychological and biological foundations; however, while considering this multitude of factors, Step Back Think simply views violence as too often accepted as normal and inconsequential behaviour – a cultural direction the organization aims to shift.

Awareness through educational campaigns and workshops is vital to the prevention of street violence; education is key. We’re working towards a cultural change.