19 Apr 2016

Fiji police record rise in domestic violence cases

7:47 pm on 19 April 2016

Fiji police have recorded a 13 percent increase in violence against women for the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year.

The police director of operations Rusiate Tudravu told FBC News the force has now created a separate unit to deal with these cases.

During this period last year 842 cases of domestic violence were recorded across all police stations. This year that number has risen to 951.

The police have been criticised in the past for not taking domestic violence seriously.

However, Mr Tudravu said the Duavata Community Police have partnered with stakeholders to create awareness on domestic violence issues.

Fijian women pressured to keep quiet

A women's group says although more cases of violence against women have been reported in Fiji, women still feel pressured to keep quiet about abuse.

The Fiji Women's Crisis Centre coordinator Shamima Ali said even when women want to report domestic abuse they are pressured not to.

"Domestic violence, you know it's seen so much as the norm, and if you look at the National Survey, 58 percent of women said that they believe no one should interfere when a husband beats up his wife."

The National Survey launched by the crisis centre in 2013 also found Fiji has one of the highest domestic abuse rates in the world.

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