Research paper released: Family violence, alcohol consumption and the likelihood of criminal offences

The Crime Statistics Agency has today released its seventh ‘in brief’ paper, which explores the involvement of alcohol in family violence incidents recorded by Victoria Police. 

The paper is based on an analysis of 121,251 family violence incidents recorded by Victoria Police during 2014 and 2015. It examines:

  • the characteristics of incidents that involved recorded alcohol use by the perpetrator, the victim or both parties
  • the relationship between recorded alcohol involvement in family violence incidents and the likelihood of criminal offences being recorded as a result of the incidents.

The analysis found that 1 in 5 incidents involved definite alcohol use by either victim, perpetrator or both parties.

Overall, offences were most commonly recorded for incidents where only perpetrator alcohol use was recorded, with just under two-thirds of these incidents resulting in an offence.  An offence was least likely to arise when only the victim had used alcohol, with less than half of these incidents leading to a recorded offence.

The final model predicting whether an offence would be recorded indicated that, when other factors are taken into account, perpetrator alcohol use is not statistically related to the likelihood an offence will be recorded. Factors related to the seriousness of the incident, such as the perpetrator chocking the victim or a recent escalation in the frequency or severity of violence, were associated with large increases in the likelihood that an offence would be recorded, as was the perpetrator’s history of family violence incidents.

The full research paper can be found here.

The media release for this paper can be found here.