Calls for Marshall Islands govt to tackle domestic violence

6:59 am on 19 April 2016
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Photo: 123RF

An advocate for domestic violence victims in the Marshall Islands says the government needs to do more to combat the high rate of domestic violence incidents in the country.

Five complaints of abuse by male partners were filed with the High Court by the end of March, a rate that could top 2015's record of 10.

Marie Maddison, an advisor for the national women's group Women United Together Marshall Islands said the the rate of domestic violence had always been high, but the rise in complaints is due to increased reporting.

"It's the recognition of it and the reporting of it that gradually has increased. And also, it's because of the legislation, women are starting to come out and report incidents."

The High Court recently streamlined the process so that an abuse victim can request court protection without engaging a lawyer. But, Marie Maddison said the government is not doing enough.

"More action will be needed to be taken by the government. Capacity building at the government level is very much needed. The government needs to work harder."