Alcohol ‘a catalyst, not cause’ says expert

BALLARAT has recorded one of the highest number of alcohol-related family violence incidents in the state, according to a Turning Point analysis. 

There were 426 incidents recorded in 2012-13 and 2011-12.

In 2010-11 and 2009-10, 338 and 329 incidents were recorded in Ballarat respectively. 

Turning Point collated data from a number of agencies, including Victoria Police and Department of Health, to illustrate a number of alcohol and drug-related harms in the state. The data also found:

A total of 43.9 alcohol-related family violence incidents per 10,000 people was recorded in Ballarat in 2012-13. More incidents were recorded in Casey, Greater Geelong, La Trobe and Frankston than in Ballarat in the same period.

Ararat, Horsham and the Northern Grampians recorded higher incident rates per 10,000 people in 2012-13 than Ballarat.

Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association chief executive Sam Biondo said alcohol did not cause family violence.

“Alcohol is not the cause for violence, but it is a catalyst for the violence,” Mr Biondo said.

“There are a whole range of factors.” 

Women’s Health Grampians health promotion officer Kath Deakin said gender inequality was a factor in family violence cases. 

“Alcohol is a contributor, but the reality is violence against women is about gender inequality,” Ms Deakin said. 

“We have to open our eyes to every day sexism.”

The analysis comes ahead of White Ribbon Day, which will be held on November 25.

Those seeking information and support for sexual assault and domestic violence can call 1800 737 732 or go online at 1800respect.org.au

kara.irving@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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