13 Oct 2009

Tongan women's centre says politicians must hear about violence

11:57 am on 13 October 2009

A workshop in Tonga has heard graphic accounts of domestic violence which the National Centre for Women and Children says is become more prevalent.

'Ofa-Ki-Levuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki, the manager of the National Centre, says last week's event was an attempt to put the facts about domestic violence in front of people.

She says they heard case studies from child survivors of rape and assault which for many community leaders who attended the workshop were hard to take.

"But they have to hear it, they have to hear what's actually going on, and see the facts as they are, from the hospitals, from the police, and from NGOs such as ourselves."

Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki, says the country's male politicians were invited to the workshop but none turned up.

Tonga's police commander Chris Kelley told the workshop that four women and one child have been murdered in domestic disputes so far this year, and many cases go unreported.