24 Nov 2011

Call for women's refuge in Tahiti following suicides to end abuse

4:07 pm on 24 November 2011

A woman politician in French Polynesia is calling for more women's refuges as escalating domestic violence has prompted a spate of suicides.

In the past week, two women killed themselves after being victims of domestic violence, and the health ministry says a study shows a quarter of women in French Polynesia have been abused.

Sabrina Birk says the economic crisis, job losses and lack of education are adding to the problems of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

She says some women in Tahiti can see no escape from their problems.

"When women, a mother commits suicide, and plus in front of her children, which is really terrible, it shows that these women, they do not see a way out of their problems. There is no place for them to go, there is no family that accepts them, they have no refuge."

Sabrina Birk says she worries the suicide problem will continue without any safe places for abused women to go.