ONE in two Australians say Apr 14, 2008 12:16:15 GMT -5
Post by Flash on Apr 14, 2008 12:16:15 GMT -5
By Kate Sikora, Health Reporter
April 15, 2008 12:00am
ONE in two Australians say drunks make our streets too dangerous to be out on after dark as statistics reveal the appalling extent of alcohol-related violence.
Roy Morgan research, released today, shows one in five people have been assaulted by a drunk or know someone who has.
The startling figures come as leading drug and alcohol organisations join forces for the first time to pressure the Federal Government into overhauling the alcohol industry.
National Alliance Against Alcohol Related Violence - which is made up of 30 members - wants Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to increase alcohol tax, forcing up the sale price, on drinks such as cask wine.
In a telephone poll conducted on April 1 and 2, a majority of respondents said they were concerned about being assaulted by drunks.
Almost 15 million Australians believed there was a direct link between binge drinking and an increase in alcohol-related crime.
Alcohol Education Research Foundation CEO Daryl Smeaton said the Government collected $6 billion in alcohol tax, but spent little on tackling alcohol-fuelled crime.
"When millions and millions of Australians reveal their concerns have grown dramatically in the past three years and they feel less safe than ever, it's obvious there's a major issue," he said.
"We aren't saying people shouldn't drink. We are saying our streets are becoming unsafe, people have had enough and alcohol-related violence can never be acceptable."
However, alcohol-fuelled rage is not confined to the streets. Campbelltwon-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation service Odessy House has found at least 60 per cent of women who attend its residential programs say alcohol is the cause of domestic violence.
"We see far too many images on TV of assaults on members of the general public," Odessy House CEO James Pitt said.
"People being punched, kicked and punched.
"In our parents-and-children program a number of children who accompany their parents have been victims of this type of violence."
The Federal Government has announced it would spend $53 million on preventing binge drinking.
However, the newly-formed alliance wants Mr Rudd to reduce the number of alcohol outlets and enforce lockouts or reduce trading hours in "hot spots".