LET’S End the Coward Punch

To everyone that’s joined us on this mission, this is for you.

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We can end the coward punch through social violence prevention education

Be Wise. Think Carefully. Act Kindly. Our programs promote positive behaviour for young Australians.

Pat’s story

It only took one cowardly punch to end Pat’s life

In April 2016, 19-year-old Pat went out for a few quiet drinks with mates. Later that night he was struck in the head from behind with a Coward Punch. Two days later his parents made the agonising decision to turn off his life support.

our impact

Our vision is simple: A world free from the Coward Punch

Through education, awareness, and research, we are working to end the senseless violence that devastates families and communities. We honour Pat’s life by helping young Australians learn to make wise decisions when challenged with conflict. Violence is never the answer.


Participating schools


Engaged students


Participating organisations


Curriculum-aligned violence prevention programs for schools

Discover how we can partner with your school to deliver engaging and life-changing programs for students from Prep to Year 12.

Be Wise Presentations

Students learn about the impact of social violence as we tell Pat’s story, explore relatable social problems and offer age-appropriate strategies.

First presentation is funded

Violence Prevention eLearning

Five e-lessons that explore risks, choices and consequences, using real stories and personal reflection on how to manage anger and navigate social conflict.

Wellbeing curriculum-aligned

Primary Schools Program

Using our engaging storybooks and lesson plans, this teacher-led program helps foster safety and respect in the playground.

Classroom Ready

Be Wise School Accreditation

Schools can drive positive community change and become Be Wise Accredited, receiving a digital badge for their commitment to ending social violence.

Five steps to a safer culture

“It is rare that 700 students can be held spellbound in absolute silence while listening to a guest speaker”

– Justin Griggs, Marcellin College


Support our vital education and research

Discover how you can help advance our impact on social violence and end the coward punch.


Explore our fundraising events for individuals, teams, donors and partners.

Walk to the Valley - Pat Cronin Foundation - End the coward punch


Explore how your sponsorship can make a positive impact in your community.

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From social media to keynote speaking, connect to help raise awareness of Pat’s Story.

info hub

What is the Coward Punch and how do we put an end to One Punch Attacks?

The coward punch, otherwise known as a one punch attack, is a punch often thrown from behind, giving the victim no chance to react or defend themself. Explore more about the coward punch and social violence with our resources and articles.

Infographic with sketch of two males alongside statistics about the toll of the Coward Punch in Australia

info hub

Why we need to be calling out Coward Punches

What’s in a word – or two? Heaps – quite frankly. There’s a world of difference between a king hit and a coward punch – and we believe it’s time everyone started calling it out.

The Coward Punch: Common Questions

Laws in states across Australia uphold the criminal offence of unlawful striking causing death. This has colloquially been referred to as the Coward Punch Law. Each state’s laws specify the definition and conditions of this criminal offence.

Interpreting the Crimes Act and trying to state the law is tricky business. The following links might help you in your own research but it is in no way legal advice. Please seek legal advice from a qualified person.

The Victorian law now stipulates that all cases of manslaughter by unlawful and dangerous act involving a single punch or a strike delivered to the victim’s head or neck, which causes injury to the head or neck, automatically constitutes a dangerous act. Section 4A, Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)

As stated by the Parliament of Victoria, “The provisions clarify that a punch may be covered by the new section even if it is part of a series of punches, and the death may be caused by the punch even if the death was the result of an injury from another impact caused by the punch/strike” Read more here.

A mandatory minimum sentence is now required: “Circumstances of manslaughter by single punch or strike, or manslaughter in circumstances of gross violence, arise a custodial sentence with a non-parole period of ten years must be imposed” Read more here.

A King Hit is the same form of attack as a Coward Punch – a strike to the head or neck, often delivered from behind, usually unprovoked and without warning.

The term King Hit has been replaced with the term Coward Punch to reflect the shame a perpetrator should feel.

This stigmatises rather than glorifies the act. Altering our language contributes to changing the culture: it aims to deter people from engaging in this type of violence because they will be labelled a coward.

A One Punch Death describes the tragic outcome of when a person is fatally attacked with a Coward Punch and dies from the injuries sustained during the attack.

Our mission is to End the Coward Punch through social violence prevention education, by delivering programs for young Australians that promote positive behaviours. The Pat Cronin Foundation raises awareness about senseless social violence that fuels one-punch attacks.

Pat Cronin was having a few quiet drinks after his first Seniors football match. When a brawl started to build at the pub, being a loyal and caring mate, Pat stepped in to pull a friend away. That was when Pat was coward punched in the head from behind. Read more.

Violence is never the answer. Learn why with a Pat Cronin Foundation Be Wise Presentation and our Info Hub of resources.

5 Steps to discussion emotion in the classroom - Pat Cronin Foundation


5 step guide for discussing conflict, emotions and violence with high school students

This easy five step guide will help you prepare a powerful lesson for your high school class and will support you to confidently lead difficult conversations with students.

Teacher's Resource Download


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