Originally written by DEAN MILLARD
THE disgusting and ugly scenes of violence at Alexandra Park last Saturday have impacted on more than the adults physically injured in the mayhem following the final siren.
Dozens of children were at the ground when the three brawls broke out, with many witnessing the mindless rampage from adults who are supposed to be role models for these impressionable minds.
These children were exposed to seeing people they knew punching and being punched to the ground, with some of those parties then set upon by groups in cowardly and brutal assaults while they were on the ground.
There has emerged anecdotal evidence from parents who were at the ground with their children that day that the trauma of seeing upwards of 60 adults behaving in such a reckless and threatening manor is continuing to cause problems, with children not only in tears on the day, but some now having trouble sleeping at night.
Having been subjected to these scenes of violence at such close range, with some young football supporters having just ran onto the ground for a post game kick of the footy when the fights broke out, there is a real risk that these children could suffer ongoing psychological trauma, with experts urging parents to talk to their children about what they saw.
Brophy youth worker Ann Kirkham said it was important parents needed to speak with their children to help them understand and cope with what they saw and possibly seek help if needed.
“To witness such violent and aggressive behaviour would have been very frightening for many young people,” Kirkham said.
“The impact could be quite varied and depends on the individual.
“If your child did witness the incident talk to them about it.
“If you have any concerns contact your school and talk to them about it.”