Navigation

Results

More than 1300 people responded to the Relationships Australia online survey in July 2018. Three quarters (77%) of respondents identified as female, with more female than male respondents in every age group (see Figure 1 below).  More than 85 per cent of survey respondents were aged between 20-59 years, and more than 55 per cent of respondents comprised women aged between 30-49 years (inclusive).

As for previous surveys, the demographic profile of survey respondents remains consistent with our experience of the groups of people that would be accessing the Relationships Australia website.

Most survey respondents reported that they drink alcohol, at least occasionally.  Around one-quarter of men and one-sixth of women consume alcohol four or more days a week (figure 2).


Almost 40% of female survey respondent reported that their partners consumed alcohol four or more days per week, while fewer than 20% of male respondents reported their partners drank alcohol this frequently (figure 3).

Both men and women were most likely to report unwinding or relaxing as the main reason they consumed alcohol (figure 4), followed by ‘I liking drinking’.  One-fifth (18%) of women and 14% of men reported the main reason for consuming alcohol was because it is expected in a situation.

 

More than 20% of men and 25% of women reported that alcohol always or often increases the frequency of family arguments (figure 5).

Other harms caused by a partner’s drinking included emotional damage such as hurt, neglect or embarrassment; family breakdown; financial stress; and their partner failing to meet their obligations (table 1).

 

Table 1. Harms due to partner's drinking, past 12 months

Harm

Women %

Men

%

Been emotionally hurt, embarrassed or neglected

25

19

Stopped seeing your partner/broken up/separated

6

9

Failed to do something you were/your partner was being counted on to do

7

10

Felt threatened

6

4

Broke or damaged something important

3

5

Been negatively affected on a social occasion

9

9

Had a serious argument (excluding physical violence)

12

14

Experienced financial stress

8

8

Commonly reported sources of help for excessive drinking reported by survey respondents included family and friends (women - 34%; men - 26%); GPs (women - 18%; men - 19%) and counsellors/psychologists (women - 20%; men - 21%).

Relationships Australia State and Territory websites