Violence

How common is alcohol-related violence in Australia?

In 2016, 22% of Australians (aged 14 years and over) had experienced at least one incident of either physical abuse, verbal abuse or being put in fear by someone under the influence of alcohol in the past 12 months.

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

Alcohol-Related Violence: An incident of physical abuse, verbal abuse or being put in fear, in which the perpetrator or victim reports that alcohol use contributed to the violence.

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

Put in Fear: Feeling threatened and/or afraid for one’s personal safety due to the actions, speech or behaviour of another.

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).

What are the most common types of alcohol-related violence in Australia?

In 2016, 19% of Australians (aged 14 years and over) had been verbally abused, 11% had been put in fear, and 7% had been physically abused by someone under the influence of alcohol in the past 12 months.

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

Alcohol-Related Violence: An incident of physical abuse, verbal abuse or being put in fear, in which the perpetrator or victim reports that alcohol use contributed to the violence.

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

Put in Fear: Feeling threatened and/or afraid for one’s personal safety due to the actions, speech or behaviour of another.

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).

Are men or women in Australia more likely to experience alcohol-related violence?

In 2016, Australian men and women were equally as likely to have experienced alcohol-related violence in the past 12 months. Approximately 23% of men experienced at least one incident of physical abuse, verbal abuse, and/or being put in fear by someone under the influence of alcohol, compared to 22% of women.

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

Alcohol-Related Violence: An incident of physical abuse, verbal abuse or being put in fear, in which the perpetrator or victim reports that alcohol use contributed to the violence.

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

Put in Fear: Feeling threatened and/or afraid for one’s personal safety due to the actions, speech or behaviour of another.

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).

Are younger or older Australians more likely to experience alcohol-related violence?

Younger Australians are generally more likely to experience alcohol-related violence than older Australians. Australians aged 25-29 years are the age group most likely to experience physical abuse, verbal abuse, and/or being put in fear by someone under the influence of alcohol (34%), followed by those aged 18-24 years (32%).

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2019).

Alcohol-Related Violence: An incident of physical abuse, verbal abuse or being put in fear, in which the perpetrator or victim reports that alcohol use contributed to the violence.

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

Put in Fear: Feeling threatened and/or afraid for one’s personal safety due to the actions, speech or behaviour of another.

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).

What proportion of alcohol-related violence incidents are reported to the police?

Approximately 13% of Australians who experienced alcohol-related violence in the past 12 months reported the incident to the police.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2018).

Alcohol-Related Violence: An incident of physical abuse, verbal abuse or being put in fear, in which the perpetrator or victim reports that alcohol-use contributed to the violence.

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

Put in Fear: Feeling threatened and/or afraid for one’s personal safety due to the actions, speech or behaviour of another.

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

Do more men or women in Australia report alcohol-related violence to the police?

Of those Australians who experienced alcohol-related violence in the past 12 months, an equal proportion of women (13%) and men (13%) reported the incident to the police.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2018).

Alcohol-Related Violence: An incident of physical abuse, verbal abuse or being put in fear, in which the perpetrator or victim reports that alcohol use contributed to the violence.

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

Put in Fear: Feeling threatened and/or afraid for one’s personal safety due to the actions, speech or behaviour of another.

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

Do more younger or older Australians report alcohol-related violence to the police?

Australians aged 30-39 years are the age group most likely to report alcohol-related violence to the police, while those aged 14-17 years are least likely to do so.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2018).

* Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution.

Alcohol-Related Violence: An incident of physical abuse, verbal abuse or being put in fear, in which the perpetrator or victim reports that alcohol use contributed to the violence.

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

Put in Fear: Feeling threatened and/or afraid for one’s personal safety due to the actions, speech or behaviour of another.

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