6 Mar 2013

Pacific tells UN of violence against women in region

2:47 pm on 6 March 2013

Pacific leaders have told the United Nations that violence affects all aspects of the lives of women and girls in the region.

Leaders are meeting in New York at the 57th Commission on the Status of Women.

Tuvalu's Prime Minister, Willie Telavi, addressed the commission on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum.

He says studies across the region have shown that two out of three women experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.

"The studies have also revealed high levels of severe abuse and strong correlations between childhood and adult experiences of violence, signalling the need to address violence in the family much earlier, and to prevent violence from happening in the first place. We are also concerned about the impact of conditions under situations of armed conflict and political instability which intensify sexual and gender based violence, rape, and sexual assault."

Willie Telavi called on the international community to strengthen its political and financial commitment to help the Pacific.