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One punch - two lives

One minute you’re enjoying a night out with your friends. The next minute you’re facing a lengthy jail sentence.

How different your life would have been if you’d just walked away.

And it’s not just your life that would be affected.

Not many people realise the impact that just one punch can have. Just one punch is enough to kill someone, enough to put you in prison and enough to change two lives forever.

This week (1 – 7 December) is Anger Awareness Week.

It’s also two years since Mark Munday, a father of three from Bedford, died as a result of just one punch.

Therefore, as well being the run up to Christmas when many will be celebrating and perhaps indulging in a few more drinks than normal, it seems a poignant time to share the messaging about our ‘One Punch, Two Lives’ campaign.

We launched the campaign in 2017, following the tragic deaths of Mark, and 24-year-old Tomas Juska who also died as a result of just one punch. Both deaths were tragic, and avoidable.

We’ve worked closely with Sandra, Mark’s wife, and their sons who have bravely lent their voices to our campaign and candidly spoken about the impact of Mark’s unexpected death on all of them. Sandra recently appeared on BBC Three Counties Radio and BBC Look East to speak about Mark and spread the message, and two of her sons, Joe and Sam, worked with us to make a video to be played in schools, talking about the loss of their dad.

They have been incredibly courageous in speaking so openly about the loss of Mark; a loss that has caused significant pain for the family and changed all of their lives. As Sandra wrote in a blog; “Our normal, safe existence was shattered into a million pieces, and why… because someone threw one punch.”

It’s really important to think twice before reacting during an argument. Please don’t turn to violence – that one act by you can have far-reaching consequences that are all too easy to forget if your thoughts are clouded by rage. Take 90 seconds, remove yourself from the situation, and calm down.

The worst case scenario after fighting is the loss of someone’s life. There is no best case scenario – at the very least someone may be injured, and you could be arrested. Throwing a punch is never the answer.

In the words of Joe, Mark’s son, in his blog: “Any conflict or confrontation you get into, in the long run it’s never worth it. Like the campaign says, two lives get ruined – although with the families of everyone it’s more than two lives.

 “It’s just not worth it. Just walk away.”

Superintendent Liz Mead

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