23 Jun 2003

Chaudhry laments rising domestic violence in Fiji

5:24 pm on 23 June 2003

The Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says domestic violence such as suicide, rape, incest, beatings and murder have reached unprecedented levels since the coup.

The Fiji Sun reports that Mr Chaudhry's comments follow an incident in which a six-year old girl from Ba was beaten unconscious over a trivial matter by her father who is now under arrest.

The girl remains in a coma in hospital.

Mr Chaudhry says there is no justification for such brutal behaviour.

He says it is a sign of increasing frustration caused by social problems such as unemployment and an inability to meet family commitments in post-Coup Fiji.

Mr Chaudhry says corrective action needs to be taken now to deal with national problems that are causing an increase in stress, frustration and disillusionment if Fiji wants to avoid a complete breakdown in the values deemed essential for a civilised society.

The Labour Patry leader has called on social workers and religious and community leaders to be more alert to such family situations before they reach crisis point.