Bashing victim's mother says coward's punch focus right move


The mother of bashing victim Simon Cramp has welcomed the focus on "coward punches" this Brain Injury Awareness Week.

Primbee's Angela Cramp said her son's life changed forever after a drunken and unprovoked attack in Sydney's CBD on June 2, 2013.

Simon, then 26, suffered life-threatening head injuries and underwent surgery to relieve pressure on his brain and remains at risk of seizures for the rest of his life.

Mrs Cramp said it was important that the national awareness campaign puts its focus on the coward's punch, which has killed 90 Australians in the past 10 years - 28 in NSW.

Brain Injury Awareness Week, which runs until Sunday, turns the spotlight on the many more Australians that survive.

"It's very topical for our family and for so many others who have been injured and are now dealing with acquired brain injury in the last year," Mrs Cramp said.

"It's terrible enough for people who have it through accident but when it's through assault because someone thought it might be entertaining to do that to someone is just horrific. It's hard to believe these people do not understand the consequences of their actions.

"The impact on the victim and their family, and the cost to the community from one punch is devastating."

Mrs Cramp considers her family among the "lucky ones" because their son made a good recovery.

"We have seen so many people whose lives are shattered because their loved one has died, or has survived but has been confined to a wheelchair," she said.

"Simon still has to accept that his life has changed forever because he had to guard himself against knocks to the head and seizures but he is one of the lucky ones.

"We continue to help raise awareness of these attacks and through increased exposure, there has been a reduction in the last six months. Meanwhile, the terminology has been changed - it's now known as a coward's punch not a king hit, which is right because there's nothing regal about it."

Headway and the Illawarra Brain Injury Service are hosting an inter-agency day for their clients at Northern Bowl, Corrimal, on Tuesday to mark the awareness week.

Headway manager Robyn Russell said the culture of "binge drinking" had led to an increase of alcohol-fuelled assaults resulting in brain injury over the past decade.

"Brain injury is often referred to as the hidden disability because it's not always apparent that someone has one," she said.


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