Danny Green has used the NRL’s State of Origin match in his hometown to launch a national week as part of his ongoing fight to call time on the coward’s punch.
The champion WA boxer last night kicked off the inaugural Coward’s Punch Week with the airing of a television commercial during the historic game in Perth to highlight the devastating consequences of senseless violence.
With the message reaching millions across the country, Green said to kick off the week-long awareness campaign during the “most-watched event of the year” was an “incredible opportunity to really, really hit home”.
“The demographic as well watching the State of Origin, is definitely the demographic we want to reach,” Green, 46, said.
Research by Green’s Stop the Coward’s Punch campaign showed 99 per cent assailants in reported attacks across the country between 2005 and 2011 were men, half of which are aged between 18 and 23. About 70 per cent of attacks were carried out between 10pm and 4am and 12 per cent resulted in death.
“The coward’s punch is a growing scourge in our community,” Green explains in the ad, which will also run on radio and online.
“Since 2001, over 100 lives have been snuffed out.
“Hundreds more have been injured. The coward’s punch takes lives and scars families, friends and survivors for life.”
Green said his fight against violence in the community was working, saying the term “coward’s punch” had replaced “king-hit” and “one-punch” in the Australian vernacular, adding it was being used by magistrates and judges in handing down sentences.
“Just having that simple, yet very powerful message attached to (assault offences) … you are going to be branded a coward for the rest of your life,” Green said. “It’s a very powerful deterrent for a young man.”
But Green said coward’s punches were still claiming too many victims and called on the courts to hand out tougher sentences.
Green said an e-learning tool was being developed which would be rolled out in schools, sports clubs and community groups later this year. Coward’s Punch Week will end on Friday with a fundraising dinner at Crown Melbourne.