Women

FWCC urges women in violent relationships to seek urgent help

The Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC) urges women in violent relationships to seek urgent help. The FWCC is appalled and saddened at the deaths of two young women in the past two weeks, allegedly at the hands of their partners. In a statement, Crisis Centre Coordinator Shamima Ali said the deaths are a tragic reminder […]

Peni Shute

May 12, 2016 5:48 pm

The Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC) urges women in violent relationships to seek urgent help.

FWCC Coordinator Shamina Ali. (FWCC)
Fiji Women Crisis Centre Coordinator Shamima Ali. (FWCC)

The FWCC is appalled and saddened at the deaths of two young women in the past two weeks, allegedly at the hands of their partners.

In a statement, Crisis Centre Coordinator Shamima Ali said the deaths are a tragic reminder that intimate partner violence is a bigger problem in our communities than many people realize or acknowledge.

ALI: “It is commendable that government leaders, including the Minister for Women, Rosy Akbar, and the Police Commissioner, Brig-Gen Sitiveni Qiliho, have acknowledged the massiveness of the problem of violence against women and have committed to using all their powers to address it.”

“But in order to truly begin to eliminate violence against women, it should become everybody’s concern.”

Ali said women in violent relationships are at a higher risk of ending up disabled or, in extreme cases, dead, the longer the relationship progresses.

The FWCC’s landmark nationwide survey on violence against women published in 2013 titled ‘Somebody’s Life, Everybody’s Business’, describes the terrible reality for many women living with violence.

The survey showed that 64 percent of women who had ever been in an intimate relationship had experienced physical and/or sexual by a husband or intimate partner in their lifetime, and 24 percent are suffering from physical or sexual partner violence today.

ALI: “The most dangerous time for a victim of intimate partner violence is when she is planning to separate, while she is leaving or has just left a violent relationship. We should never assume that she is safe because she has made up her mind to leave.”

“Safety planning is critical during this period. It is important to remember that we need to take women’s statements regarding the threats made against her life seriously.”

The global prevalence for physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence over a woman’s lifetime is 30 percent, compared with 64 percent in Fiji.

The survey showed that an average of 302 women every week or 43 women every day are injured due to violence by their husband or partner.

However, only about one in 10 of these women will tell a health worker the true cause of their injury.

Further statistics show that 437 women will suffer from burns each year – about eight a week or one a day.

More than one in 10 (12 percent) of women surveyed had either been threatened with a weapon, or have had a weapon used against them, and 6 percent have been choked or burnt on purpose.

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