2 Feb 2015

Advocate says laws not aiding violence victims in Tonga

8:22 am on 2 February 2015

A women's group in Tonga says 80 percent of domestic violence victims are going back into a violent environment.

The Women and Children Crisis Centre has assisted more than 1800 women and children since 2009.

The centre director, 'Ofa Likiliki, says most of the people they helped have ended up going back to where they first experienced violence.

She says the situation is not helped by the land laws which restrict women from owning land.

"We are sending victims back to the violent environment. We just have no other option. When you're married in Tonga, you go and live in your husband's house and you live on your husband's land so if there's a domestic violence situation and you leave the house, you can't really go back to your husband and say 'can you leave'."

'Ofa Likiliki says the Government needs to act on a Royal Commission recommendation to allow women to own town allotments.