SUVA, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Fiji has one of the highest statistics in the world on domestic violence, a Fijian government official warned on Friday.
According to Fijivillage website, the warning was issued by Fiji's Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa while addressing the island nation's General Practitioners at their Annual Conference on Friday.
"Fiji has one of the highest statistics in the world on domestic violence that has pushed us as a nation to address domestic violence as a matter of national importance across all sectors," the minister said.
Vuniwaqa also pointed out that the health challenges for women and children remain enormous in all countries, including Fiji, adding that these challenges have to be viewed across the life-course through interventions in childhood, adolescence, and the reproductive years.
According to the Fiji Women's Crisis Center, 64 percent of women who have been in intimate relationships have experienced physical or sexual violence from their partner, including 61 percent who were physically attacked and 34 percent who were sexually abused.
Fiji's domestic violence decree, which was passed in 2009, was commenced on in 2010. Among the objects of the decree are to eliminate, reduce and prevent domestic violence, to ensure the protection, safety and wellbeing of victims of domestic violence.
In 2017, Fiji launched a domestic violence toll-free helpline, hoping this will help reduce domestic violence against women in the country with a population of more than 880,000.