Violence against women

Violence and harassment, statistics in the Pacific are dire


The Pacific Community (SPC) is convening the 14th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and the 7th Meeting of the Pacific Ministers for Women: "Our Ocean, Our Heritage, Our Future - Empowering All Women in the Blue Pacific Continent."

This event will bring together decision-makers, development partners, research institutions and civil society organisations.

Tongan horror stories shared at Samoa anti-violence forum

It was part of the United Nations' Spotlight Initiative To Eliminate Violence Against Women and Girls.

The scary words of Ofa Kilevuka Guttenbeil Likiliki, the Director of the Tonga Women and Children's Crisis centre, will forever haunt those who attended.

New centre for Tongan women experiencing violence

The Tongan Ministry of Justice and the Pacific Community's Regional Rights Resource Team will launch the project this week to celebrate International Human Rights Day.

Research by the University of the South Pacific and the Ma'a Fafine moe Famili Centre indicates three out of four Tongan women have been physically or sexually abused during their lives.

Kaniva Tonga reported the new community advice centre would help domestic violence survivors to apply for protection orders under the Family Protection Act.




Photo: eakmoto/123RF

Women in Marshall Islands more willing to seek protection orders

Five cases have been filed so far this year, putting Majuro on track to set a record for domestic violence protection orders.

The latest cases include the first-ever jailing of a man for violating a court order to stay 200 feet away from his victim.

Last year there were 12 domestic violence protection orders requested and in 2015, 10 were filed.

In 2014, there were none.

The steady rise reflects the High Court streamlining its process for filing these "temporary protection order" requests so the individual seeking help does not need a lawyer for the process.

Tongan women's group hits back at survey critics

Last week, the Internal Affairs Minister Penisimani Fifita referred to the survey conducted by the Ma'a Fafine mo e Famili organisation at the launch of a 16-day anti-domestic violence campaign.

The project co-ordinator for the organisation, Gabriella 'Ilolahia, said the study, which was released in 2012, had been criticised by members of the public for exposing a shameful aspect of Tonga's culture.

But she said it showed that violence did exist in Tonga and could no longer be ignored.

"They're surprised to hear that we can talk about the violence now.

More than 70 percent of women abused in Tonga: Survey

RNZ reports the study completed four years ago by the University of the South Pacific and the Ma'a Fafine moe Famili centre, was highlighted by the Internal Affairs Minister Penisimani Fifita when he launched an anti-domestic violence campaign.

He said about 90 percent of such incidents were carried out by husbands, fathers and teachers.

The minister said the lives of the women who suffered abuse were impacted forever.

Photo: 123 RF

NRL to advocate ending violence against women in the Pacific

It has signed a five-year memorandum of understanding with the Australian National Rugby League and the Fiji National Rugby League to help them run programmes that use the sport's platform to prevent violence.

The NRL's Voice against Violence program will be implemented in Fiji and the Pacific over coming months, with players, officials and administrators receiving training on gender, violence against women and human rights.

Violence against women focus in Fiji for police

The workshop, run by the Australia Federal Police and the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre, will also help them understand gender dynamics as well as laws relating to gender-based violence.

30 police are involved in what is the fourth Regional Police Training Program to be held since 2014.

The co-ordinator of the Crisis Centre, Shamima Ali, said with the high rates of violence against women in the Pacific, it is vital that officers understand its dynamics and how perpetrators operate, so they are better able to respond.

Think outside the box, urges Tongan advocate

RNZ reports she told women's affairs ministers gathered at a Commonwealth summit in Samoa that anti-violence campaigns, the focus on neutral ideas like gender equality and technical solutions have had little impact.

Ms Guttenbeil-Likiliki said the focus should be on changing mindsets and behaviour and there needs to be reform in the classroom so children are taught they're equal.

Shame of the Pacific exposed: 60pc of women victims of violence

But 12 extra Pacific Island women every day have received help from crisis support services in the three years since Australia set up its $320 million, 10-year program to help improve the lives of women in the region.

The Turnbull government is aggressively pursuing the program, which was launched by then prime minister Julia Gillard at the Pacific Islands Forum summit in the Cook Islands in 2012.

In Fiji last night, Minister for International Development and the Pacific Steven Ciobo delivered a report on progress in the first three years.