A paper recently published in BMJ Open reported on the harm caused by alcohol to people other than the drinker. This national survey of almost 5000 adults across England examined the extent, type and frequency of harms associated with other people’s drinking as well as identifying who was most likely to be the victim and perpetrator of harm. This was the largest ever survey of its kind in the UK. The study showed that one in five adults reported harm from another’s drinking in the previous 12 months. Of concern, almost one in twenty people said they had experienced at least one aggressive harm in the previous year which was related to someone who had been drinking (3.4% of respondents said they had felt physically threatened, 1.9% said they had been physically assaulted and 0.7% said they had been forced or pressurised into something sexual). While friends and strangers were the people that caused almost half of all alcohol-related harms, the person causing harm varied depending on the type of harm. Strangers were most likely to be the perpetrators of physical threats and physical assaults. One in five (19%) people who were forced or pressured into something sexual said this was by a stranger, but 23% said this was by a partner they lived with, increasing to almost 40% when partners who lived elsewhere were included.
You can access the paper here.