When a person experiences alcohol-related verbal 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 verbal abuse incidents from someone under the influence of alcohol are perpetrated by a stranger. However, women are more likely than men to be verbally abused by a spouse/partner or other relative.

In 2016, among Australian men, the perpetrator of alcohol-related verbal abuse was a person not known to the victim in 67% of cases, another person known to the victim in 21% of cases, the current/former spouse or partner in 10% of cases; another relative in 10% of cases; and a friend in 9% of cases. In 2016, among Australian women, the perpetrator of alcohol-related verbal abuse was a person not known to the victim in 49% of cases, another person known to the victim in 17% of cases, the current/former spouse or partner in 28% of cases; another relative in 18% of cases; and a friend in 9% 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.

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.

Verbal Abuse: Speech which is designed to humiliate, degrade, demean, intimidate, or subjugate (including the threat of physical violence).