I stop once my opponent starts bleeding, that’s when I stop.” Lea,14.
“I slammed her head onto her car window and broke her wing off her car and ripped most of her hair out and, yeah, she was pretty much of a mess.” Paige,16.
“Like these days if you look at a girl in the street she’ll say something to you, she’ll cause a fight. Like it’s normal”. Jiji,19.
This week on Insight, girls own up to ‘putting the boot in’, hair pulling and slamming heads into walls, as police, parents and principals say physical fighting between young females is more common – and more vicious – than ever before.
Although males are responsible for most violent assaults in Australia, there has been an increase in violent offences committed by females, many of them aged 14-25. More women than ever before are being imprisoned for physical assaults and stories of young girls fighting are becoming more common.
The girls tell Insight host Jenny Brockie that ‘punch-ons’ can break out for all sorts of reasons: because of nasty comments on Facebook, boredom, wanting to impress others, or simply because ‘she looked at me funny’. Some of the girls say using their fists is the quickest way to resolve an issue, deal with a problem, and ‘teach people a lesson’.
Paige, 16, and Bonni, 20
Paige gets pretty fired up if anyone says anything nasty about her older sister Bonni. Often, Paige’s anger becomes physical. In a recent fight, Paige says she slammed another girl’s head into a car window and ripped a lot of her hair out. But Paige says she draws the line at using a weapon.
‘Lea’ says she gets into fights about three times a week and has a criminal record. She has attacked people she knows, as well as “randoms” in the street. She says she gets angry and violent when other people are “smart arses” to her. She says you have to stick up for yourself.
Tori is a hairdresser who says she’s often targeted by girls when she’s in bars and nightclubs because of the way she looks. She says she never wants to fight but is forced to defend herself. She says the nightclub scene is “horrific” and that “females are just so brutal, it’s disgusting.”
Mark Murdoch is an Assistant Commissioner with NSW Police. He says there has been an increase in violence committed by women on the streets and in the home. He says women are having violent fights with not only other women but also men.
Dr Michelle Johnson is an Emergency Doctor with Royal Perth Hospital which is close to the popular Perth nightspot of Northbridge. She says there is no doubt that she and her staff are seeing more women in the Emergency Department with injuries related to fights with other women.
Tuesday 30 April, 8.30pm on SBS ONE