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the impact of

alcohol on FAMILIES

The impact of alcohol on the wellbeing of families is often overlooked. When a family member drinks, it can affect everyone – from unborn children to close relatives, children, parents, siblings, and spouses. The use of alcohol also fuels family violence and child maltreatment.




The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Council of Australian Governments recognise that alcohol is not just a driver of physical violence, it also determines the severity of the results of an attack. Alcohol consumption of both the perpetrator and the victim is a factor that contributes to family violence.




One in five Australian women continue consuming alcohol after they know they’re pregnant, despite warnings within health guidelines. Alcohol (a teratogen) is known to cause birth defects, increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weights, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Children with FASD are born with behavioural problems, birth defects, impaired growth, and learning difficulties.





In 2011, there were a total of 29,684 incidents of alcohol-related domestic violence in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory, and the number have been increasing. We need to recognise that alcohol is a significant contributor to family violence.






It's no shock that a large number of children are being affected by others’ drinking. Of the 10,166 children in the child protection system, many are there due to a carer’s drinking habits. Alcohol-related child abuse and neglect affect at least an additional 142,582 children.


of reported family violence involved alcohol


of child abuse cases involved alcohol

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