22 Feb 2011

Calls for Tonga to fight domestic violence

8:10 pm on 22 February 2011

Calls are increasing in Tonga to improve legislation to reduce the growing incidence of domestic violence and child abuse.

The Women and Children's Crisis Centre saw a total of 354 clients in 2010 and found domestic violence cases were the most common problem.

The Centre also reported cases of child abuse and sexual violence, which were also up last year.

Tonga's women congress president, Mele Amanaki, says such statistics indicate the situation is getting worse.

"Currently the child abuse and domestic violence is under the general law for violence in general. But then I think for this specific increase in incidence we need to address and amend the law to cater and to prevent violence at home."

Mele Amanaki says often the violence and abuse are attributed to various factors, including financial stress and alcohol abuse.