Alcohol Related Violence in Families and Communities
Fact Sheet
Alcohol Related Violence in Families and Communities
Key Points
o There is a strong link between alcohol and violent crime.
o The interaction is complex and can be causal.
o Alcohol increases the risk of a situation escalating into physical violence.
o Men appear more likely than women to engage in violent behaviour after
the consumption of alcohol.
o Alcohol use can be a significant factor in family violence.
o Parental alcohol abuse can exacerbate child abuse, neglect and injury and
can lead to the child developing substance abuse and violence problems.
o Effectively addressing the co-existing problems of alcohol use/abuse and
violence requires an integrated, coordinated response by a range of
agencies.
Introduction
Violence is a multifaceted problem with biological, psychological, social and
environmental roots combining individual, relationship, social, cultural and
environmental factors (World Health Organisation, 2002; Ministry of Justice,
2004).
The World Health Organisation defines violence as “The intentional use of
physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person,
or against a group or community that either results in, or has a high likelihood
of resulting in, injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or
deprivation” (World Health Organisation, 2002).
Violence is one of many negative outcomes associated with the consumption
of alcohol. The availability and abuse of alcohol are an important, modifiable
factor in reducing violence in society. Laws to control the availability and
consumption of liquor are some of the earliest on the statute books in New
Zealand (NZ Police, 2006).
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