8 Oct 2007

Fiji NGO organisation says isolation and powerlessnes often behind increase in violence

6:05 pm on 8 October 2007

The Director of Women's Action for Change in Fiji, Peni Moore, says cultural pressure is often to blame for the growth in domestic and criminal violence.

Women's Action for Change works with victims of violence, and former convicts, and has noted sharp increases in violent behaviour since the first of the country's four coups in 1987.

She says many within the Indo-Fijian community are isolated and powerless and often feel like second class citizens.

Ms Moore says these people often resort to violence.

She says there are similar pressures at the grassroots of the indigenous Fijian community.

"You have the problem of commoners having to answer to the chief without having the right to say no, and that provides the same oppression and therefore they take it out on people who are less than they are."