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Family violence, alcohol consumption and the likelihood of criminal offences

Author(s) Sutherland, Paul, Cleave McDonald, and Melanie Millsteed
Title Family violence, alcohol consumption and the likelihood of criminal offences
Source In Brief, No. 7, December 2016, p1-16, Crime Statistics Agency, Melbourne
Date 2016
Document type Research report
Victoria, Australia
Summary The objective of this study was to examine whether alcohol involvement in domestic and family violence incidents is associated with criminal offence outcomes. For the study data about alleged family violence incidents over a two year period was obtained from Victoria Police, with a final sample size of 121,251 incidents. Of these incidents, 21.2% were found to have some form of alcohol use recorded. The analysis of data produced a number of findings. For example, it was found that where either perpetrators or both perpetrator and victims were recorded as using alcohol, it was more likely that they had been recorded in a previous family violence incident. Where other potential predictors are not controlled for it was found, for instance, that perpetrator alcohol use is associated with an increased probability that an offence will be recorded and it was also found that the perpetrator's history of prior recorded family violence incidents is strongly related to an offence being recorded. However, using a regression model, it was found that perpetrator alcohol use was not found to contribute to predicting whether an offence would be recorded. The complexity of family violence incidents was acknowledged and it was concluded that the factor contributing the most to whether a charges were laid against a perpetrator was if the perpetrator had three or more previous incidents recorded.
Keywords Domestic violence; family violence; alcohol consumption; risk factors; criminal offending; arrests; charges


​Male victims; domestic violence