When the topic of ‘toughen up’ is on the agenda in Australia, it is always about getting tough.
In a country of 1.6 million people, it’s no wonder that we’re in a tough spot, says a new report.
The ‘Toughen Up Australia’ campaign is the brainchild of the anti-poverty charity the Australian Council for Social Service.
It’s about ‘helping people make the tough decisions to get on and move forward, rather than letting them feel guilty or trapped in a cycle of hardship,’ says a statement from the charity.
‘The campaign is not about getting more tough on people; rather, it helps them make the right choices and makes it harder for them to fall into poverty.’
The campaign has received some media attention in recent weeks.
On Sunday, the ABC’s AM program ran a story on how the ‘trough-down’ is hurting Australians, but it didn’t highlight the ‘crisis’ caused by ‘tear-gas raids’, police-involved shootings and the ‘widespread use of tear gas and rubber bullets’ by police.
This ‘troubled’ country ‘has become a victim of its own success, writes The Australian’s David Barstow.
More from ABC News.
Read moreWhat is ‘torture’?
Torture is a ‘disorder of the mind’ that is designed to inflict pain, physical or mental, to an enemy or an enemy’s target, according to the UN Convention Against Torture.
“It’s the use of excessive force, physical pain, or mental suffering, to obtain information, political advantage, or to cause fear,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in 2013.
According to the report by the Australian Government Accountability Office, Australia recorded 656,903 violent incidents in 2016, a 7 per cent rise on 2015.
But ‘tearing up’ has also been on the rise, with a rise in the use and the prevalence of tear-gas, according the Australian Crime Commission.
And the issue of ‘Tear Gas’ was raised on the ABC Sunday Breakfast last week.
ABC’s John Kerr asks former Victorian police commissioner Paul Kelly about the ‘Tears Up’ campaign.
Kelly, who was a senior officer with the Victoria Police in Victoria from 2010 to 2016, says he would have seen ‘tears up’ at a similar time as the “Tears Down” campaign.
He says it is a common ‘sensational’ campaign to stir up public anger, but that ‘there is no evidence that police force use of force or tear gas use is related to crime in Victoria’.
He says a study by the University of Melbourne in the 1980s found ‘no correlation between the frequency of police-related incidents and the number of teargases’ that were used.