FWCC and Police data survey shows rise in violence against women during holiday period
21 Dec, 2018
|While the festive season is often associated with family, food and festivities, for many women living in abusive relationships, it is the worst time of the year. |
This comes from the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre which says that data from the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre and Fiji Police Force show there is a surge in cases of violence against women and domestic violence during the holiday period from before Christmas to after New Year.
It says experience has shown a combination of financial pressure, free‑flowing alcohol and sometimes factors such as extended family issues are triggers that worsen the problem of domestic violence for survivors.
Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator, Shamima Ali says women living in abusive relationships often experience heightened fear around Christmas time because they know what it will mean ‑ physical violence, verbal abuse and injury.
Ali says the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre runs the 24‑hour Domestic Violence Toll-free Helpline on behalf of the Ministry of Women and this line can be reached by dialing 1560 from any phone in Fiji without charge.
The Crisis Centre also runs it’s own 24‑hour helpline and women can visit any of its centres in Suva, Nadi, Ba, Rakiraki and Labasa.
Permanent Secretary for Women and Children, Josefa Koroivueta says violence on women is not a matter to be tolerated at any level for it instills harm and deepened psychological trauma on women and their children as well and no religion on earth condones such behavior.
Koroivueta says faith based groups, NGOs, community leaders and the private sector need to come out as actors, working together with the government and UN agencies to sweep out this unacceptable action.
He says it does not make sense as Christmas is the season for love, compassion, family union, and renewed relationships with each other. He says it was not meant for abusive actions against women, children and the vulnerable cohorts of our community.
Koroivueta says Christmas is meant for joy, peace and unconditional love for each other and not for violence or abuse of any form.