18 Feb 2013

Fiji woman calls for end to violence and abuse secrecy

5:03 am on 18 February 2013

A Suva woman who took part in last week's One Billion Rising campaign says enabling women and girls to open up about domestic violence and sexual abuse is key to preventing it.

This year is the first time the Pacific, where violence against women is endemic, has been involved in the two-year-old worldwide campaign.

Recent figures show that 64 percent of women in Fiji have experienced violence in an intimate relationship, higher than the global average of one in three.

Grace, who has three daughters, says abused girls and women need better access to proper counselling and advice, something she wishes she had had during her own abusive upbringing.

"Mostly it was swept under the carpet if you were abused and I know a lot of my friends have been. People just don't talk about that stuff, it's sort of taboo. The biggest thing for me is that if we don't stand up and do something about it now then in the future it will be exactly the same way it is now and I wouldn't want that for my children."

Grace says being involved in the One Billion Rising Campaign has been really empowering.