The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) have released a report this week looking at the harm alcohol causes to families and children.
“The Hidden Harm: Alcohol’s impact on children and families” has received a fair bit of media attention this week, especially around reported findings of the relationship between alcohol use and domestic and family violence.
Data for the report was compiled from the 2008 Harm to Others survey and 2011 Harm to Others follow-up survey and information from alcohol and other drug treatment, child protection, police and family violence services.
Some of the findings:
- Past harm was the strongest predictor of future harm for children and families, as well as the number of adult heavy drinkers in respondents’ household and among their relatives, girlfriends, boyfriends and ex-partners. Half (50 per cent) of adult respondents harmed in 2008 were also harmed in 2011 and 35 per cent of children harmed in 2008 continued to be harmed in 2011.
- In 2011 there were 29,684 police-reported incidents of alcohol-related domestic violence in Australia
- Children are being verbally abused, left in unsupervised or unsafe situations, physically hurt or exposed to domestic violence because of others’ drinking. Many were also witnessing verbal or physical conflict, drinking or inappropriate behaviour.
- Over a million children (22 per cent of all Australian children) are estimated to be affected in some way by the drinking of others (2008). 142,582 children were substantially affected (2008), and more than 10,000 Australian children are in the child protection system because of a carers drinking (2006-07).
You can read reflections from one of the researchers here: http://drinktank.org.au/2015/02/hidden-harm-research/
You can also find FARE’s “Policy Options Paper for preventing alcohol-related family and domestic violence” here: http://www.fare.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/FARE-Policy-Options-Paper-Preventing-alcohol-related-FDV.pdf