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​Alcohol exacerbates violence against women rather than causes it

December 20 2016 By HANNAH GRANT, MEDIA MANAGER

In its submission to the Victorian Government’s review of its liquor control legislation, Our Watch stated it supported initiatives that aimed to reduce harmful alcohol use.

Image of bottles of alcohol Image

Our Watch, however, asserted that it opposes any simplistic suggestion that alcohol ‘causes’ violence against women as that contradicts the most current evidence. It also declared such a position can inadvertently excuse such violence, which only further adds to a culture which regularly excuses, trivialises or condones violence against women.
 
Our Watch CEO Mary Barry said that “evidence shows that it is gender inequality which is the fundamental driver of gendered violence. This is the reason Our Watch works to advance gender equality, in a number of areas such as through policy change, and in various social settings, from workplaces, to schools and the media.” 
 
“At the same time, we do acknowledge that the harmful use of alcohol is one of a range of reinforcing factors that can increase the probability, frequency or severity of violence against women and their children. 
 
“This is why we encourage and support initiatives that aim to reduce harmful alcohol use - particularly where they tackle the intersection of harmful social norms relating to both alcohol and gender,” Ms Barry said. 

Our Watch stated that one component of an intersectional approach could be to improve the regulations that govern the price, promotion and availability of alcohol, as these are likely to have a considerable impact in helping to reduce violence against women.

Our Watch stated that improvements to the regulation of alcohol have the potential to make a considerable contribution to reducing violence against women, where they are implemented as one component of an overall and holistic national approach.
 
Read the full submission here