We hear a lot about ‘senseless violence’.
But when kids get injured at parties, it’s not the violence that’s senseless.
It’s the parents.
With prior planning, parties needn’t suffer any violence.
To me, ‘senseless’ is someone stabbing you in the street.
Car accidents aren’t senseless. Most are due to speed, alcohol, fatigue or other driver error.
The following situations recently came to my attention. All have been called ‘senseless’, when really they’re not.
An 18-year-old’s parents didn’t want to control alcohol at his birthday party.
They wanted the kids to ‘have fun’.
So they confined their attentions to the front of their home.
Meanwhile, out of sight in a back bedroom, their dear son had sex with a minor.
This boy faces a life-ruining conviction and placement on the sex offender register.
All because his parents didn’t want to set boundaries.
A grieving mother, whose son was fatally stabbed outside a party, has asked a judge to send a hard message about the deadly consequences of ‘senseless violence’.
I’m told alcohol wasn’t restricted at this event. Had an alcohol plan been in place, this situation may well have ended differently.
A life could have been saved and a boy prevented from going to jail.
I believe most parents who read this article will think the teen stupid for drinking so much. But what about the parents who let it happen?
This is where the senselessness lies.
Parents near Shepparton held an after-formal party for their kids. Yet again, there was minimal security and no restriction of alcohol. The results?
- Brawls on a neighbour’s property.
- Children and parents terrified in their homes.
- Half a dozen Police units called at 10 pm. They use capsicum spray. Some are injured.
Organisers said, ‘They didn’t know this would happen’. Yet they’d have a very different attitude if there were consequences to their lack of forethought.
Duty of Care is the responsibility of the parents. They must think about consequences of their (lack of) actions.
On the edge
I believe this tragedy could have been avoided. Again, it was no accident.
Pre-assessments of party venues are necessary to flag physical safety issues.
Most balconies are designed for domestic use only. Our pre-assessment plans forbid parties on balconies and stair wells.
We also cover perimeter fences, pools, alcohol plans and experienced, professional event security. These simple things:
- Prevent most parties from turning ugly.
- Minimise violence in our community.
- Save lives.
- Free our emergency services and judicial system.
If you minimise the risks, you turn things from ‘senseless’ to sensible.
Duty of care
Parents need to show duty of care.
A holistic approach is the best option
Unless we have consequence for parents who don’t exercise duty of care when hosting a party our kids will suffer ever more violence.
A tragic waste of life that’s truly ‘senseless’.
Naomi Oakley, Founder, Safe Partying Australia.