26 Mar 2012

World Bank identifies horror levels of sexual violence against women in Solomon Islands

2:55 pm on 26 March 2012

The World Bank says that Solomon Islands has the worst levels in the world of sexual violence against women.

The Bank says national estimates show 64 percent of women experience domestic violence.

The regional gender co-ordinator for the World Bank's East Asia and the Pacific region, Andrew Mason, revealed these findings during the launch of the Bank's World Development Report 2012.

Mr Mason says the figures are just the tip of the iceberg of a culture of violence against women in the Pacific Region.

"It means that societies in the Pacific have a higher tolerance for men abusing their spouses and in fact what is interesting is that it's a culture that includes not only male views but female views. One thing we find, which was surprising and a bit disturbing frankly is that 70 percent of women in the Solomon Islands also say that under certain circumstances husbands beating their wives is acceptable."