12 Dec 2013

Women vulnerable to high rates of partner violence in Fiji

2:36 pm on 12 December 2013

A survey carried out by the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre has found about 70 percent of women suffer from some form of violence by their husband or partner.

More than 3,000 women were interviewed using a standardised World Health Organisation survey, which focusses on the prevalence of sexual, physical and emotional violence against women in an intimate partner relationship.

The coordinator of the Centre, Shamima Ali, says the result ranks Fiji as the fourth worst from about 20 countries which have participated.

She says it is an inter-generational problem where a lot of men believe it's their right to use force to control a spouse, and the survey also found many women accept it.

"About 60 percent of women believe it's all right for a women to obey her husband if she disagrees with, so these things are internalised and very few women access services or tell anyone about it. There is still that whole conspiracy of silence."

Shamima Ali says organisations like hers have to work with people in authority for the issue to be taken seriously.