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By Devika Narayan

SUVA, Fiji Islands (November 21, 2001 - The Fiji Times/PINA Nius Online)---The alarming increase in domestic violence cases in Fiji has prompted a leading women's organization to conduct specialized counseling workshops.

The Young Women's Christian Association's weeklong current workshop on violence against women includes basic counseling skills training for domestic violence and other forms of abuse.

A recent survey carried out by the Fiji Women's Crisis Center revealed that 66 percent of women in Fiji have been hit by their partners at some point in their lives.

The National Research on Domestic Violence study, which was released in September, also showed that 80 percent of the people surveyed had witnessed violence in their homes.

Twenty-five participants from YWCA branches in Suva, Lautoka, Nadarivatu, Bua and Levuka are participating in the current workshop at Pacific Harbour.

YWCA workshop committee spokeswoman Tarusila Bradburgh said that the workshop was the first of a series of nine, which would continue until December of next year.

The workshops are funded by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

Ms. Bradburgh said the YWCA would work together with all sectors of the community -- including the government, the church and other women's organizations -- to help eliminate the problem of domestic violence.

For additional reports from the Fiji Times, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Fiji Times.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 

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