This is a joint statement from FWCC and FRIEND

16 Oct, 2020

Media Release 16/10/20

Women living in Fiji’s rural and remote areas are demanding for timely,
accessible and responsive police services.

This was the call made by community-based women leaders from the Western
Division who gathered at the Tukuni Conference Centre in Lautoka to celebrate
the International Rural Women’s Day yesterday.

Highlighting their concerns to Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator
Shamima Ali who was the chief guest at the event organized by FRIEND, the
community-based women leaders said rural women face great difficulties when
dealing with police.

Some of the issues raised by the rural women leaders at the interactive
forum included the delay in police to attend to cases of domestic violence,
sexual assault and child abuse, and facilitating DVRO applications and lack of
timely referrals.

For instance, some of the women leaders said it took the police about two to
four days to attend to reported cases, attributing the delay to either no
transport or lack of manpower.



Ms Ali said the forum gave the women a free space to voice their concerns
without fear and with confidence.

“We need to have more of these gatherings of women leaders to raise concerns
about violence against women and other women’s rights issues, food security and
livelihood, especially in these COVID times.”

Ms Ali also highlighted the importance of women standing in solidarity with
each other, saying a lot can be achieved when women come together.

She said rural women, especially those in maritime areas were worst affected
by domestic violence and continue to suffer in silence because they do not get
access to essential services, including legal.

“It’s essential that women and men are trained locally to support survivors
locally.

“FRIEND and FWCC, together with the group have plans to continue the dialogue
in November during the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women
campaign and have a planning for response and prevention strategies for the
West on the elimination of violence against women, as well as promoting women’s
human rights.

“We hope to include police and other rural stakeholders in the dialogue,” Ms
Ali said.

 

 

 

 






Women living in Fiji’s rural and remote areas are demanding for timely,
accessible and responsive police services.

This was the call made by community-based women leaders from the Western
Division who gathered at the Tukuni Conference Centre in Lautoka to celebrate
the International Rural Women’s Day yesterday.

Highlighting their concerns to Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator
Shamima Ali who was the chief guest at the event organized by FRIEND, the
community-based women leaders said rural women face great difficulties when
dealing with police.

Some of the issues raised by the rural women leaders at the interactive
forum included the delay in police to attend to cases of domestic violence,
sexual assault and child abuse, and facilitating DVRO applications and lack of
timely referrals.

For instance, some of the women leaders said it took the police about two to
four days to attend to reported cases, attributing the delay to either no
transport or lack of manpower.



Ms Ali said the forum gave the women a free space to voice their concerns
without fear and with confidence.

“We need to have more of these gatherings of women leaders to raise concerns
about violence against women and other women’s rights issues, food security and
livelihood, especially in these COVID times.”

Ms Ali also highlighted the importance of women standing in solidarity with
each other, saying a lot can be achieved when women come together.

She said rural women, especially those in maritime areas were worst affected
by domestic violence and continue to suffer in silence because they do not get
access to essential services, including legal.

“It’s essential that women and men are trained locally to support survivors
locally.

“FRIEND and FWCC, together with the group have plans to continue the dialogue
in November during the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women
campaign and have a planning for response and prevention strategies for the
West on the elimination of violence against women, as well as promoting women’s
human rights.

“We hope to include police and other rural stakeholders in the dialogue,” Ms
Ali said.

 

 

Copyright © 2020. Fiji Women's Crisis Centre.