Monday, January 09, 2012

The violence has to stop

"When he realised I wasn't going to let him go he punched me several times in the face, so subsequently I took necessary action to stop him from doing that and sat on him essentially until the police arrived," he said.

John Elferink, a Port Darwin MP came to the aid of a woman in Adelaide whose mobile phone and car keys were stolen.  I was thinking he feels very confident when dealing with difficult, unstable situations and he caught and restrained the man until it could be dealt with by police. Most people would stand and watch. We have lost that level of self confidence here mainly because a number of people have been badly injured or killed while trying to intervene and help someone. You just don't know who you are dealing with anymore. John Elferink has reminded us we can do something about it if we use our heads and our skills. I have known others to intervene by using their mobiles for pictures or calls to the police but at the same time judging whether they are putting themselves at risk or not. It is not easy. I was wondering why the guy stole the mobile and car keys. If it was random it would not have done him much good in terms of cash. If he was known to the woman then it was just a mean act. It's a bit disturbing but John Elferink has dealt with it all in a level headed manner to show us you can do something about it and take the control back by being matter of fact . We wouldn't all have his capacity to deal with an onslaught of punches and we are not all in the situation where we can. There is another article about the cost and concern of violence in our hospitals. The government needs to urgently clarify when restraint can be used because that apparently has not occurred and we need to stop putting money into protecting ourselves from violence in hospitals when that money could be put to better use to help heal people. People are flaring up for all sorts of reasons. Like the lady who went spare at me because I backed my car out BEFORE she had got into the lane at the shopping centre car park but she was angry because she had to wait until I straightened my car up. Flouncy , self serving behaviour is becoming too common and people just go off. Some get violent so you have to be wary as you step around town and shopping centres. If it is a hospital then that is unthinkable and staff will then be tied up dealing with someone and their anger issues instead of people who need medical help. I can well imagine doctors and dentists may well be facing the same irrational anger problems and it will put them off the job. Is it expectation? Is it education? I remember sitting on a bus in Noumea and the  bus inspector got on. I thought, there is no way anyone would mess with him. He was super polite as they are. He was really nice because he actually helped me find my way to the right stop when the driver was dealing with someone else. It was all very civilised...but you would not have done the wrong thing on the bus...nor brought on fish that wasn't in a thermal bag as the big sign said.

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