Friday, 13 February 2009 7:01 AM

Fiji Women's Centre Blames Political Instability for Rise in Violence

The Fiji Women's Crisis Centre is blaming the political instability in the country as the reason for domestic violence following the recent reports.

According to Fiji Times Online, Fiji Women's Crisis Centre coordinator, Shamima Ali, blames the political instability as one of the causes of domestic violence, saying, "Political instability also affects couples because men feel in control all the time. And when they feel disempowered by a political situation, they commonly vent their anger on people they can control."
She stated that studies all over the world have proven this.

According to the report, Ms. Ali said the centre's records showed a higher number of domestic violence cases compared to police records and that '32 percent of women in Fiji - or one in every three - lived with regular violence in their relationships'.
'And she said a 1997 survey found 67 percent had been beaten at least once'.
Ms Ali said the high number of domestic violence cases showed that more women were coming out and reporting the violence and that it was not domestic violence but its intensity that was increasing.

"One is that more and more woman are coming out and reporting the assaults. A lot of the women don't want to leave the relationship, they just want the violence to stop, they still love their husbands. A lot of women suffer in silence," she said.

'She said the centre also had other statistics showing murders on women that were perpetrated by their husband or partner'.

Recently, within the span of two weeks, two women were reportedly killed by their husbands. One was assaulted by her husband over a misunderstanding which led to her being kicked in the head. She was admitted into hospital a day after the assault after complaining of severe headaches and later died.
The other woman was beaten to death by her husband over accusations of an extra-marital affair. According to the report, the woman was a 'known victim of assault within her community and had often fled her home'.