When a person experiences alcohol-related physical abuse in Australia, is the relationship between the victim and perpetrator different for men and women?

For both Australian men and women, the largest proportion of incidents of physical abuse by someone under the influence of alcohol are perpetrated by a stranger. However, women are more likely than men to be physically abused by a spouse/partner or other relative. Men are more likely than women to be physically abused by a friend or another person known to them.

In 2016, when Australian men experienced physical abuse by someone under the influence of alcohol, the perpetrator was a person not known to the victim in 64% of cases, another person known to the victim in 20% of cases, the current/former spouse or partner in 11% of cases, another relative in 9% of cases, and a friend in 10% of cases. In 2016, when Australian women experienced physical abuse by someone under the influence of alcohol, the perpetrator was a person not known to the victim in 47% of cases, another person known to the victim in 17% of cases, the current/former spouse or partner in 32% of cases; another relative in 14% of cases; and a friend in 8% of cases.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey.

Please note: Percentages do not tally to 100% as participants could choose more than one response.

Physical Abuse: An act which causes pain and/or injury to the victim.

Under the Influence of Alcohol: There is no single objective standard for being under the influence of alcohol. Similarly, data sources used in the NADK do not provide a definition of this term. It is popularly understood as referring to an individual who has consumed enough alcohol to impair their mental, physical, and/or cognitive faculties. However, definitions and standards may vary between jurisdictions, sectors and organisations.