Men Must Lead Fight Against Violence In Fiji: Minister

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Jiko Luveni says domestic violence is a public issue

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 30, 2013) – The minister in charge of women's affairs in Fiji says men must lead the way when it comes to eliminating violence against women and children.

Dr Jiko Luveni has announced the government is extending its Zero Tolerance, Violence Free Community Campaign, which so far involves 60 communities, and 30 more will have the opportunity to join next year.

Dr Luveni says she is concerned about the results of a recent survey which found about 70 percent of women in Fiji suffer from some form of violence by their husband or partner.

She says it is a public issue and the campaign empowers women to report cases.

"People have not had the confidence to report to the police because of the embarrassment attached to it. This is why we mounted a campaign changing our approach. The community takes ownership of the campaign led by men so that they take ownership in changing the attitudes."

Dr Jiko Luveni says before a village can be declared a Violence Free Community it has to undergo a number of activities and police reports must confirm there has been a reduction in violence.

[PIR editor’s note: Meanwhile, Fiji Times reports that the nation's police have also expressed alarm at recent cases of violence in general, especially in ones involving alcohol consumption. Assistant commissioner Rusiate Tudrava says police will be out in force to increase security leading up to the new year.]

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