ABOUT THE STOP THE COWARD'S PUNCH CAMPAIGN

We are on a mission to eliminate the coward’s punch from our society and save lives in the process

"If I can make even one person think
before striking out, that’s a victory."

We see it so many times. CCTV footage on the news showing the moment a punch is thrown and countless lives are changed forever.

Since 2000, well over one hundred lives have been lost in Australia from deadly blows to the head, and hundreds more victims injured. The coward’s punch leaves a devastating ripple through society, mentally and physically scarring family, friends and survivors for life.

We started the Coward’s Punch Campaign in 2012 to raise awareness of the devastating impact of this scourge in our society. Since then I’ve been overwhelmed at the support we’ve received, with countless entertainers, athletes, community leaders, politicians and everyday Australians joining the fight to stop the coward’s punch.

As a professional boxer, I know better than most what can happen when you punch someone. But there’s a world of difference between consenting athletes stepping in the ring with rules and referees, and punching an unsuspecting victim with no protection.

A coward’s punch is exactly that. Cowardly. It doesn’t matter how upset or angry you are in the moment – there’s no excuse for such a gutless act.

And the truth is that nearly everyone who throws a coward’s punch regrets it in the cold light of day. Not only can it result in jail time and tear apart families, no one wants to live with the guilt of having ended a life because of a terrible split-second decision.

The STOP the Coward’s Punch campaign looks to educate people of the risks, so they don’t make a choice they’ll regret for the rest of their lives.

If I can make even one person think before striking out, that’s a victory.

Danny Green

Key Achievements

With state and federal government, industry, community and corporate Australia support, we are making significant progress to Stop the Coward’s Punch. Key achievements include:

  • Danny Green funded production of a television advertisement in 2014 portraying the effects of a coward’s punch on victims and their families
  • Sentencing Amendment (Coward’s Punch Manslaughter and Other Matters) Bill 2014 introduced to amend manslaughter laws
  • Federal Government Funding Agreement for Danny Green’s Cowards Punch Campaign in October 2014
  • Queensland Government joined the Campaign, donating funds for outdoor advertising; billboards, taxis, trams, trains plus digital advertising in licensed venues
  • First person sentenced under new laws in NSW in December 2017, receiving a 10-year sentence for a 2014 coward’s punch
  • December 2018 Schoolies Week app received over 1.5 million impressions, reinforcing coward’s punch awareness among young people
  • Provision of $750,000 over a three-year period by Federal Government under Prevention of Crime Act
  • “Coward’s Punch” progressively replaces the terms 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’s punch

Top Tips to Stop the Coward’s Punch

  • Walk away from conflict – you have a choice
  • Drink responsibly – know your limits
  • Stay alert – stay in well lit, public places with good security
  • Use your common sense – assess venues and leave if they seem too rowdy or risky
  • Report any aggressive or suspicious behaviour to security or authorities
  • Take care of your friends – remove your friends from potential conflict situations before they develop
  • Know when to stop – call it a night and go home
  • Agitated? Breathe and calm yourself down – it’s just not worth it
Source: Victoria Police 2019, Crime Prevention, Resources and Fact Sheets

Coward's Punch Statistics

Data from 175 Coward's punch attacks reported in the media between 2005 and 2011. They determined the following:

0 %
of the attackers were aged between 18 and 23
0 %
of the attacks were between the hours of 10pm and 4am
0 %
of attacks were commited by men
0 %
of attackers are with with friends or in a group
0 %
of coward's punches resulted in death

THE EFFECTS
ONE BLOW
HAS ON THE COMMUNITY

These facts show just how devastating a single blow and other acts of mindless violence can be to you, your family and the community.

JAIL TIME

There is a minimum eight-year sentences for fatal one-punch assaults influenced by drugs or alcohol.

GROUPS

94% of attackers are with friends or in a group.

DEATH TOLL

Coward’s punch assaults have claimed at least 100 lives across Australia in the past 15 years.

ROLL THE DICE

12% of coward’s punches result in death.

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