9 Dec 2011

Geography a barrier for women reporting violence in Tonga

4:18 pm on 9 December 2011

The director of a women's group in Tonga says geography is one of the major barriers stopping women who are victims of violence seeking help.

The Women's and Children's Crisis Centre has used the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, an international campaign, to raise awareness on the issue.

The director Ofa ki Levuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki says overall more women are seeking help and reporting incidents of violence but she says it's harder for those who live in outer islands or isolated villages.

"When we talk about rural women and we talk about women from the outer islands my heart just falls because I know that there's just nowhere for them to go. They can access traditional forms of counselling for example through relatives, through friends, members of the church. But at the end of the day if the core critical services are not there the cycle will never end."

The director of Tonga's Women's and Children's Crisis Centre, Ofa ki Levuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki.