Sunday, 22 October 2017

Alcohol behind most domestic violence cases

ČTK |
2 October 2017

Prague, Sept 30 (CTK) - Alcohol plays a role in up to two-thirds of cases of domestic violence in the Czech Republic, national anti-drug coordinator Jindrich Voboril told journalists on Sunday.

Around 70 percent of the women whose partner got drunk at least once a week experienced violence at home, Voboril said.

The influence of alcohol on domestic and sexual violence as well as abuse of children is often ignored, he added.

The problem is to be highlighted by a campaign, while measures to restrict excessive drinking are being prepared, Voboril said.

"We have long ignored the topic of alcohol associated with crime and domestic violence. We have a tremendous debt. It is almost not spoken about," he added.

"Alcohol plays a role in a number of criminal acts and we must stop pretending that this does not exist," Voboril said, adding that Czechs were very tolerant of alcohol drinking.

As the problem is being ignored, there are few, if any figures and studies on the impact of alcohol and there is only little research, Voboril said.

"In the Czech population, perhaps two-thirds of domestic violence can be detected as being connected with alcohol. Up to 70 percent of women say that if their husband is drunk once, twice or more often a week, they have experience with domestic violence," Voboril said.

U.S research has shown that higher prices for alcohol lower the likelihood of violence. If the price goes up by 1 percent, the risk of domestic violence falls by 5 percent, he added.

Voboril also pointed out the findings of the WHO that under the influence of alcohol sexual abuse of children in families also rises.

Some 28 percent of Czech women have fallen prey to domestic violence. Almost one-third of them had to be medically treated after the attack.

A research of the centre for the victims of domestic and sexual violence, the proFem group, has shown that 1.85 billion crowns were spent on the treatment of the victims of domestic violence in 2014.

The treatment of chronic diseases, to which the attacks contributed, cost almost 1.1 billion crowns. Another 215 million were paid by the victims themselves.

The coordinator's team and other experts are drafting a new national strategy of the fight against both legal and illegal drugs and gambling for another nine years.

It is to be finished by mid-2018 and the new government, to arise from the October election, is to approve it by the end of next year.

More expensive alcohol beverages would contribute to the limitation of excessive alcohol drinking in the Czech Republic, Voboril said earlier this week.

For this purpose, the excise tax, the VAT and the guaranteed price for the purchase of one gramme of alcohol should be raised, he added.

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