Since 2000, at least 100 people have lost their lives to a one-punch assault. Earlier this year, Sunshine Coast teenager Cole Miller was one of these victims when he was allegedly punched in the head in an unprovoked attack on his way home from a night out in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.
Cyber threats and bullying are now an unfortunate part of an adolescent's childhood, with researchers in Australia and New Zealand finding an increasing number of suicides by teens may be attributed to being bullied by their peers.
The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) have published a report that says over a 13-year period, there has been an average of 129 domestic/family homicides every year! That's up to 47 per cent of all homicides annually and more than 1,600 people who have unnecessarily lost their life to domestic violence.
These frightening statistics certainly beg the question what is happening to our society.
Coolum Police has decided enough is enough. In a bid to keep the quiet and relaxed coastal town just that, they have been working in collaboration with community leaders and experts in their fields to run a series of community forums.
Coolum Police Station's Crime Reduction Officer Senior Constable Marlene Fisher said the ‘Aggression is the wrong expression’ forums will focus on the underlying behavioural problems of disrespect, uncontrolled anger and violence.
"Our aim is to build a stronger, safer, respectful community without the aggression, violence and confrontational behaviour that we see daily," Senior Constable Fisher said.
The presentations will be held at a number of primary and secondary schools throughout May, however Senior Constable Fisher says they are not just for the students.
"It's imperative parents, young adults and the whole community come along and get involved.
"Assaults, both on the street and in the home, are everyone's responsibility.
"Coolum and the surrounding areas is a great community that is small enough to care but big enough to make change.
"As parents and community leaders we need to start the conversation and question where the anger, hostility and lack of self-respect and respect for others stems from.
"We have sourced some of the most experience experts in their fields to help us answers these questions and get to the root of the problem."
The presenters will talk about a number of social and emotional issues including cyber bullying, controlling behaviours and choices, and the effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain.
Only four months after losing this son, Cole Miller's father Steven will also provide a very personal perspective on how anger and violence can destroy so many lives.
The talks will be tailored to the two different audiences at the primary and secondary schools.
"The important thing is parents are available and present afterwards to clarify any topics, answer any questions and keep the conversation going," said Senior Constable Fisher.
For more information please contact Senior Constable Marlene Fisher or Officer-in-Charge Senior Sergeant Hardy Wirth of Coolum Police Station on 5440 2777.
Aggression is the wrong expression forums, Coolum
6:30pm to 8:30pm
Wednesday 11 May
St Andrews College
Queensland Police, Queensland Wide
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