10 Jun 2009

Fiji's Women's Crisis Centre fears domestic violence reports are far higher

11:01 am on 10 June 2009

The head of Fiji's Women's Crisis Centre, Edwina Kotoisuva, says the high level of domestic violence reported around the region is just the tip of the iceberg.

Her organisation is one of number attending the week long Pacific Regional Meeting on Violence Against Women in Fiji, where they are discussing ways to curb the problem.

Ms Kotoisuva says in places like Fiji and Papua New Guinea two out of three women report they have been the victims of domestic violence.

Ms Kotoisuva says this reporting shows an increased knowledge of women's rights, but she fears the actual figures are higher and getting worse, and the nature of the attacks is often more brutal.

"A high level of physical violence associated with sexual violence. There are all these emerging issues that we see and there is really a change in the dynamic of how the violence is perpetuated. In terms of who the offenders are, we are getting younger offenders - that is an issue we need to tackle. We have got 14 year olds who are committing these offences."