15 Dec 2016

Tonga priest says proactive work will end domestic violence

6:51 am on 15 December 2016

A Tongan priest says preaching from the pulpit will do little to stop domestic violence in the country.

Data from a study by the Ma'a Fafine mo e Famili organisation released in 2012 showed 77 percent of women had experienced physical or sexual violence.

It also said churches have an important role to play in changing attitudes.

Marist priest Father Seluini 'Akau'ola who blessed the launch of a 16 day-anti violence campaign last month, said their role was more than just preaching at people.

"When there is a pastoral visitation to the family for some who are also advocating or encouraging using violent means, a visitation and also teaching and showing them, directing them to follow the proper way that Jesus taught us. So it's not just from the pulpit," he said.

Father 'Akau'ola said providing advice on managing anger appropriately is also important.