4 Feb 2013

Addressing substance abuse can reduce violence against women - Fiji church minister

8:15 pm on 4 February 2013

The Head of the New Methodist church in Fiji says the country's level of violence against women can be reduced by tackling substance abuse.

Pastor Atunaisa Vulaono's response follows the results of a survey by the Fiji's Women's Crisis Centre that found 64 percent of women they interviewed have been physically or sexually abused.

Mr Vulaono says violence against women can be prevented through a joint approach across Fiji to raise public awareness about the dangers of substance abuse.

"We need to educate people about the effects of drugs, the effect of alcohol. Because most of the problems that we face today: stealing, breaking, abusive behaviour, most of these people, who are young people, they are under the influence of kava, or alcohol or beer or sometimes glue, or mostly marijuana."

Atunaisa Vulaono says the high rate of violence against women is a sign of moral break down in society.