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Child abuse linked to alcohol consumption

MEDIA RELEASE – for immediate release

24 Feb 2015

The NSW Council of Churches has backed calls by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education for governments to embrace a broad public health approach to alcohol abuse in response to the release of a damning report on the impact of alcohol on children.

The report, Hidden Harm: Alcohol’s Impact on Children and Families, launched by Australian of the Year Rosie Batty today, found that 140,000 children were badly affected by the alcohol consumption of their parents or carers, and alcohol abuse contributed to the placement of 10,000 children in child protection.

The foundation wants a strong focus on prevention with national public education campaigns acknowledging the role of alcohol in family violence, targeted screening of young people at greater risk of harm, and population-wide policies to reduce the availability and target the price and promotion of alcohol.

The chief executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, Michael Thorn, said state and federal governments needed to develop new policies to tackle the problem.

“If only governments would acknowledge that they can do something about problems like family violence by tackling the availability of alcohol, we will see reductions in the incidences of family violence and the severity of family violence,” Mr Thorn said.

The NSW Council of Churches supports consideration of harm minimisation measures to reduce alcohol-related violence including earlier pub closing times, lock-outs, restricting the advertising of alcohol, and raising the legal drinking age in NSW.

– ENDS –

Media contact Rod Benson 0412 421 678

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