18 May 2010

Violence against women in Tonga soars

9:38 pm on 18 May 2010

The reported rate of violence against women in Tonga has almost quadrupled in the past decade, police there have revealed.

Figures show 113 incidents in 2000 and 404 in 2009, with an average of 22 women a month reporting an act of violence.

Tongan Police Commander Chris Kelley says the country already has laws that relate specifically to violence against women.

Mr Kelley says new legislation, such as a domestic violence act or childcare act, could tackle related issues.

But he says thought must be given to what causes violence against women in the first place.

Mr Kelley says police are looking to introduce an anti-violence programme in schools, and will soon release a domestic violence response policy.