National framework for action to prevent alcohol-related family violence
The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), together with Rosie Batty – a domestic violence campaigner and Australian of the Year – launched new 20-point framework, urging decision-makers to consider using an alcohol tax to curb family violence in the community.
FARE’s chief executive Michael Thorn has send a letter to Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott encouraging for the plan to be tabled to the upcoming meeting of state and territory leaders. Mr Thorn said alcohol was a very big factor in cases of domestic violence.
“We think that by attacking that particular pressure point we can not only reduce the incidents but also the severity,” he told AAP.
- Alcohol is involved in up to 65% of family violence.
- Alcohol was consumed by the perpetrator in more than 33% of intimate partner homicides.
“Alcohol is a significant factor to all forms of violence, so what we really have to do is acknowledge that and work towards some solutions,” said Ms Batty.
Launching the National framework for action to prevent alcohol-related family violence FARE highlighted the burden of alcohol-related violence. Alcohol is a significant contributor to family violence in Australia. In just one year (2011) there were 29,684 incidents of alcohol-related family violence in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Alcohol-related family violence accounts for between 23% and 65% of all family violence incidents reported to police. Alcohol is also implicated in 15 to 47% of child protection cases.
“Up until now, the role of alcohol has not been adequately recognised in national or state and territory plans and strategies to address the issue. This is despite the fact that alcohol is significantly implicated in family violence.” Rosie Batty, Australian of the Year and Founder of the Luke Batty Foundation and Michael Thorn, Chief Executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE).
FARE argues that Australian governments have committed to taking action to reduce family violence in recent years. However, these plans rarely consider alcohol and its contribution to family violence. In that context, the National framework for action to prevent alcohol-related family violence proposes policies and programs that Australian governments can implement which will have a real and tangible impact on preventing and reducing alcohol-related family violence.
Along with the alcohol tax, FARE is proposing other measures in the new masterplan. They include:
- Reducing the availability of alcohol by restricting trading hours and ending all 24-hour liquor licences.
- A court-based sobriety program requiring offenders to undergo two breath tests a day or wear a continuous monitoring bracelet.
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