1 Feb 2013

Two thirds of Fiji women suffer violence, according to new survey

1:34 pm on 1 February 2013

A survey in Fiji shows 64 percent of women have experienced either physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.

The survey was carried out by the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre, which interviewed more than 3,000 women between 18 and 64 years, from rural and urban areas in all four divisions in Fiji, over two years.

The Centre says the survey, which was carried out using World Health Organisation methodology, shows that violence against women cuts across all aspects of their lives.

The Centre's deputy coordinator, Edwina Kotoisuva, says of those interviewed 44 percent had experienced severe forms of violence.

"So that included things like hitting with a fist, being kicked or dragged and beaten, choked or burnt, threatened or used a gun. And 17 percent experienced what is termed by the WHO as more moderate violence, which is slapping, pushing, shoving."

Edwina Kotoisuva says the figures are sobering and show the magnitude of the problem.

She says the findings will help the centre plan to better protect women and prevent violence.