Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre

Step Back THINK

sbt logo Founded in 2006 in Melbourne, Step Back Think attempts to end social violence by conducting research and educate to spread awareness about social violence and the consequences that a violent decision in a split second has. They also provide young people with social decision-making skills to avoid situations escalating to the point of violence. Since 2000 around 90 young people have lost their lives to one-hit punches, also called coward punches and many have sustained horrific injuries, and often permanent brain damage.


James Macready-Bryan was assaulted in the Melbourne CBD on 13th October 2006 while out with friends celebrating his 20th birthday. James, or MB as his friends call him, was knocked to the ground by a one-hit punch, his head smashed against the pavement and he suffered catastrophic and irreversible brain damage as a result. MB remains in a persistent vegetative state in a care home, is fed through a tube, and has very limited ability to move or communicate meaningfully with the outside world.

Step Back Think formed in the wake of this horrific incident. The aim of Step Back Think is to end social violence. They conduct research and educate young people about the horrific and damaging consequences that social violence has. Step Back Think also provides them with social skills to avoid situations that may get out of hand and result in violence. Since then, there have been many more victims of assaults. Many have sustained serious injuries and some have died as a result.

According to Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 83% of the offenders and 73% of the victims were male with the highest amount of incidents occurring among people aged 15-29. (AIHW 2011)

The Australian Institute of Criminology estimates that crime costs Australia nearly $36 billion a year – about 4.1 per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product. Assault accounts for 7 % of this cost.

Lace Up Against Social Violence 2015 Campaign

In June 2015, Step Back Think gave sporting teams the opportunity to wear orange shoelaces and participate in one of their education presentations about positive actions athletes and clubs can take to avoid instances of violence. There were almost 30,000 athletes, 1500 teams and 18 different sporting codes represented.

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