23 Nov 2017

Fiji women waiting more than two years to report violence

2:30 pm on 23 November 2017

Women in Fiji are waiting nearly two and a half years before reporting family violence to the police according to a new report by the Fiji Women's Rights Movement.

Domestic violence

Photo: 123RF

The agency's executive director Nalini Singh said a study into the effectiveness of legislation protecting women and families, has shown there were still significant barriers to women seeking justice in Fiji.

Ms Singh said many women did not know what services are available to help them, could not afford legal support or were ashamed to seek restraining orders.

She said the research had found that the average time it took women experiencing domestic violence to seek help from the police was 868 days.

"There needs to be urgent attention being paid to that significant finding that it takes almost two and a half years for women to report cases of violence to a formal justice sector agency.

"And we do need to look at addressing those barriers and removing stigma and discrimination that is associated with women reporting such cases."

Nalini Singh said one of the report's recommendations was for police to improve their processes, documentation and data collection of domestic violence and restraining orders.

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