Alcohol and domestic abuse – the figures

Today the Home Office released its Crime Survey of England and Wales, which covers violent crime, amongst other things.  A section of the report includes the part alcohol plays in violent crimes – in 47% of violent crimes the victims report that their attackers were under the influence of alcohol.

The report also covers domestic violence – Mark Easton has written a good summary of the findings for the BBC News website, and you can find that article here

Two million people report sexual abuse, threats, violence or abuse from a family member last year.  Mark is right when he says it is an issue of “the sick, the poor and the separated” – if we look just at women, domestic abuse was carried out against 13% of sick or disabled women, 15% of unemployed women and 21% of separated women.

But perhaps bigger than the part played by all of those issues is alcohol. Some studies suggest alcohol is a factor in 75% of domestic abuse – rather more than the 47% cited overall by this report.  Although the Crime Survey explores the part played by alcohol in sexual assault by a non-partner, it does not tease apart the figures for domestic abuse, and does not explicitly link the two. It should.

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