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 to be physically abused by a friend or another person known to them. 

When Australian men experience physical abuse by someone under the influence of alcohol, the perpetrator is a person not known to the victim in 66% of cases, another person known to the victim in 24% of cases, the current/former spouse or partner in 10% of cases; another relative in 10% of cases; and a friend in 12% of cases. When Australian women experience physical abuse by someone under the influence of alcohol, the perpetrator is a person not known to the victim in 43% of cases, another person known to the victim in 14% of cases, the current/former spouse or partner in 34% of cases; another relative in 15% of cases; and a friend in 5% of cases.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2013 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.