Aussie Kids Blame Alcohol for Violence
20 November 2013 at 11:15 am
Almost half (45 per cent) of Australian children think alcohol is the main cause of violence in Australia, according to a new Not for Profit ChildFund survey of almost 6,500 children across the world.
The Australian result is three times higher than the global result (16 per cent) and the third-highest response in the world.
The survey results also coincide with the release of the Australian National Council on Drugs report which reveals that one in eight deaths of Australians aged under 25 is now related to alcohol consumption.
Of the developed countries taking part in the ChildFund survey, New Zealand (35 per cent), Ireland (28 per cent) and Taiwan (28 per cent) also ranked alcohol as a major factor. In developing countries, the majority of children surveyed in Cambodia (90 per cent) and Mongolia (53 per cent) said alcohol was the main cause of violence in their country.
The findings come from the fourth annual Small Voices, Big Dreams survey, commissioned by the ChildFund Alliance.
Described as one of the most comprehensive polls of children's views in the world, the survey compares the hopes, dreams and concerns of children in developed and developing countries.
This year’s survey asked 6,499 children aged 10 to 12 years in 47 countries (including 202 Australian children) about their views on peace, violence, heroes and happiness.
“When children were asked about the main causes of violence in their country, the results from Australia – and, in fact, throughout the Asia region – were particularly striking, with alcohol-related violence the number-one concern of children surveyed,” ChildFund Australia CEO Nigel Spence said.
“We know that alcohol-fuelled violence is commonly reported in the news and may also be experienced in the home. Our survey results show that children are acutely aware of this and serve as a stark reminder that violence is an issue that affects children too.”
The Australian National Council on Drugs report also found that one in four Australians reported being a victim of alcohol-related verbal abuse.
“The level of alcohol related damage occurring in our communities is simply appalling and the Council has responded by developing a plan for action; for governments and communities to address the situation,” the Chairman of the ANCD, Dr John Herron, said.
“The health, social and economic costs associated with alcohol use simply cannot be allowed to continue at the current level. We all understand that the culture of drinking and intoxication has a long history in Australia and we all agree that these levels of harm are unacceptable, however whenever we speak of culture change the industries that profit most from this culture run the same old fear campaign of a nanny state takeover.
“Seatbelts, random breath tests and gun laws do not represent a nanny state and nor do sensible alcohol policies and programs.”
The ANCD report findings include:
• 60 per cent of students aged 12–17 reported consuming alcohol in the past year, and 23 per cent in the past week;
• 61 per cent of 18–29-year-olds reported they drank specifically to get drunk;
• 22 per cent of hospitalisations and 13 per cent of deaths of young people are attributed to alcohol;
• 52 per cent of alcohol-related road injuries and 32 per cent of alcohol-related hospital admissions for injuries from violence involve 15–24-year-olds.
To download the full ChildFund report, click here.
To download the ANCD Report, click here.