Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre became operational on August 13, 1983 and was established in 1984, and celebrated its 33rd Anniversary on August 13, 2017.
FWCC is a respected professional organisation and has succeeded in influencing public opinion in Fiji such that most sectors of society recognise and support the need for emergency services and ongoing support for women who are subjected to any form of violence.
Find below are what FWCC has strived to achieve for the last 33 years:
August 13, 1984:
- The FWCC opens its doors. The Centre attended to eight clients for the last four months of the year. Staffed by volunteers.
- Hard lobby against insensitive comments by police, judges and magistrate during cases of sexual assault.
- First long-term grant. Three year grant from AusAID (then AIDAB) through Freedom from Hunger / Community Aid Abroad.
- First Pacific Regional Workshop on Violence Against Women was held and the setting up of the Pacific Women’s Network Against Violence Against Women.
- Ba Women’s Crisis Centre established and funded by Australian High Commission.
- Second phase of funding for four years from the Australian Government. This was the first direct contract between the Australian Government and the FWCC.
- Labasa Women’s Crisis Centre established and funded by Canada Fund.
- Training of police and establishment of the Sexual Offences Unit in Fiji
- Introduction of the No-Drop policy on domestic violence by the Police Commissioner following complaints that reconciliation was being forced upon women in reported cases of domestic violence.
- Fourth World Conference for Women in Beijing. The Fiji Government makes a commitment to eliminate violence against women as one of its critical areas of concern.
- First Regional Training Program conducted by the FWCC – 3 participants.
- FWCC makes a draft submission to the Fiji Law Reform Commission for legislation of domestic violence.
- Second Pacific Regional Meeting Against Violence Against Women in the Pacific. Consolidation of the Pacific Women’s Network Against Violence Against Women.
- Fiji Government launching of the Women’s Plan of Action; based on the commitments at the Fourth World Conference on Women. Setting up of the Violence Against Women Taskforce – an NGO and Government committee.
- The FWCC begins its first national research on the Incidence, Prevalence and Nature of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
- FWCC client numbers pass the 1000 mark per year;
- NGO Coalition for Human Rights set up by the FWCC
- Third Phase of funding from Australian Government for five years through a direct contract with AusAID.
- The FWCC takes on the Managing Agent role for the Vanuatu Women’s Centre through a direct contract with AusAID.
- Biggest Reclaim the Night march in the history of FWCC public activism since its establishment. An increased number of men and families joined the march for safer streets and homes.
- First male advocacy group training in Fiji at the Naviti.
- Third Regional meeting on Violence Against Women in the Pacific. Emerging issue – impact of conflicts in the region on women;
- FWCC research on the impact of the coup on women in Fiji;
- Results of FWCC national research on domestic violence and sexual assault released. Findings: 66% of women surveyed have been beaten. Intensified lobbying for DV legislation.
- February – First full two-week annual training for the Fiji Military Forces;
- November – First male training on women’s human rights with the Violence Against Women Taskforce.
- First joint campaign with the Fiji government through the VAW Taskforce.
- Reserve Bank of Fiji estimated the economic cost of violence against women in Fiji, to be F$300 million per year.
- July – Vanuatu advocacy training for men on violence against women;
- Bill for the improvement in sentencing guidelines for sexual offences introduced by the Attorney general followed by intensive lobbying.
- November – Nadi Women’s Crisis Centre established.
- January – Domestic Violence Reference given by Attorney General. Law Reform Commission begins the process for developing domestic violence legislation;
- June – F$4 million five-year contract signed with AusAID.
- Fourth Pacific Regional Meeting Against Violence Against Women;
- November – December – Cook Islands Male Advocacy Training against Violence Against Women.
- December – Opening of the new FWCC $1 million building funded by the AusAID to provide intensified services and a research unit;
- Launch of FWCC ‘Gender Relations, Women’s Human Rights and Violence Against Women Trainer’s Manual’.
- August – Tonga Male Advocacy for Women’s Human Rights
- June – Fifth Pacific Regional Meeting Against Violence Against Women;
- July – F$3 million six-year contract for the Labasa, Ba, Nadi and Rakiraki branches signed by NZAID.
- Regional Training Programmer; total number of participants stands at 304 since the course started in 1995.
- FWCC for the first time was granted the Human Rights Defender Award to the Coordinator Shamima Ali by Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand for her outstanding contribution towards improving women’s rights in Fiji and throughout the Pacific and for promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
- First STOP RAPE Concert. The concert provided an opportunity for FWCC to reach out to a new audience.
- Establishment of Tonga Women and Children Crisis Centre. The centre started operations in October 2009 and also boasts a safe home.
- Shamima Ali was named 2011 Pacific Person of the Year as a long time women’s rights campaigner and political rights activist by Islands Business.
- A National Meeting on the elimination of violence against women was held in Suva in November. FWCC organized the meeting which brought about 100 participants together.
- The Male Advocacy for Women’s Human Rights Handbook was launched at the start of the 16 Days of Activism by Judith Robinson – Australia’s Acting High Commissioner to Fiji. It was milestone achievement for FWCC and the Pacific Women’s Network Against Violence Against Women. It highlighted 9 years of work being carried out in the area of engaging men to advocate for women’s human rights. It is a home grown pacific initiative.
- In mid-2011, Professor Biman Prasad, Dean of Faculty of Business and Economics at USP calculated the estimated cost of VAW to the country to be $498 million.
- RWCC was opened in July 2011 by UN Women Assistant Secretary General – John Hendra.
- After 3 years, FWCC on behalf of the NGO coalition was able to secure permit for its World Human Rights day march on 10th December 2012.
- For the first time in Fiji, the call to eliminate violence against women featured in a major rugby tournament in January. FWCC was one of the sponsors’ of the Uprising Fiji International Sevens Tournament, supporting the women’s division.
- 9th December – Somebody’s Life, Everybody’s Business: the national research on women’s health and life experiences was launched. This survey was done by FWCC in partnership with Fiji Bureau of Statistics.
- The first ever Regional Police Training programme for Pacific police officers was held in October in Nadi. 30 police officers attended from Fiji, Palau, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Nauru, Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands, PNG and Vanuatu. It was funded by AFP.
- FWCC held stage 4 Regional Male Advocacy Training in Nadi in February. 25 male advocates were part of this training from Fiji, Nauru, PNG, Vanuatu and Tonga.
- FWCC conducted 5 training workshops for the Fiji Police Force officers between May and June around Fiji. 84 female and 106 male officers were trained in a bid to sensitize them to the dynamics of violence against women.
- FWCC Counsellor Advocates conducted training on sexual gender based violence and essential crisis services in Tarawa from 28th April to 2nd
- The Royal Norwegian Ambassador to Fiji, Unni Klovstad visited the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre office in Suva on 8th July where she met with FWCC Coordinator, the counsellors and staff.
- FWCC entered into a $10, 000 a year contract for two years with Red Rock Rugby Club. This is where the players and the management pledge to prevent and eliminate violence against women and to be advocates for women’s human rights.
- Opening of the new Labasa Women’s Crisis Centre building on 25th November funded by DFAT.
- 7th Regional meeting held in Fiji.
- FWCC trains executive level Police Officers around Fiji.
- FWCC does first, first stage Male Advocacy training for Fiji Government Civil Service.
- FWCC was awarded the tender and contracted to run the first ever Fiji Government National Domestic Violence Helpline.