A staggering 72per cent of Fiji’s female populace have faced some form of violence in their lifetime.
This was highlighted by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa during the launch of the ‘Man up Fiji’ campaign which the Fiji Red Cross Society is part of.
Vuniwaqa also states that an alarming statistics of crimes committed by men, it is the woman who bears the burden of raising the family alone.
“95 percent of all violent crime is committed by men and it is women who bear the largest burden and usually in the one place they are supposed to be safe, in their own homes.” She said.
Vuniwaqa says the statistics are too high for a small world and even higher for a small country like Fiji.
“Domestic violence costs us in our families and our workplace every day. Women are at least three times more likely than men to experience violence from an intimate partner.
Women are five times more likely than men to require medical attention or hospitalization as a result of an intimate partner violence and they are five times more likely to report fearing of their lives. Of the women who experience violence, more than half children in their care”. Vuniwaqa said.
The ‘Man up Fiji campaign’ aims to encourage the involvement of men in the fight against gender-based violence.
Fiji Red Cross Society Financial Controller Ms. Raziya Saiyed says that end violence against women, men need to speak up.
“If a brother, friend or teammate is abusing his female partner or is disrespectful or abusive to girls and women in general, don’t look the other way. If you feel comfortable doing so, try to talk to him about it, urge him to seek help. Or if you don’t know what to do, consult a friend, a parent, a professor, or a counselor. DON”T REMAIN SILENT, speak up,” she said.
The FRCS has a gender department which looks into violence against women. All cases received by the Society are referred to the Police or Social Welfare.
Saiyed strongly urges the public to call on the national child helpline on 1325 and for domestic violence helpline 1560 to report any form of violence.
There will be a march this Saturday 7th October which will be officiated by His Excellency the President of Fiji.
Saiyed encourages all Fijians to man up and join our national efforts to eradicate violence from our homes.