A major study to be released today by domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty has found that more than one million children are harmed by other people’s drinking.
One million Australian children abused, attacked, witnessing alcohol-fuelled violence, left unsupervised, intimidated, terrified.
It’s a deeply distressing statistic – and one that everyone in Australia needs to comprehend. The scourge of alcohol related violence and family disruptions is a modern day phenomenon threatening to destroy lives if it isn’t combatted.
The report produced by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) and the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (CAPR), The hidden harm: Alcohol’s impact on children and families, reveals the full extent of alcohol-related family and domestic violence in Australia.
It found that almost half of domestic violence incidents and 47% of child protection cases involved alcohol.
It found that more than 10,000 Australian children are in the child protection system because of a carers drinking.
It found that lives were being lost and that at the greatest risk were our children.
Shockingly the statistics – which do not include Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT – showed there were at least 30,000 incidents of alcohol related domestic violence reported to police each year.
It found that many families who experienced harm from alcohol had a problem drinker who consumed 11-14 drinks about three to five times a week. In one family the problem drinker was a teenager who was drinking three bottles of vodka a day.
The teenage drinker’s mother told researchers “He knows how to work the system and it’s ripping his sister apart because we said we would stand by him, get him out of jail, stand by him, put a roof over his head for a fresh start on the condition he stayed away from alcohol, and he’s broke that and he’s up to three bottles of vodka a day.”