FWCC welcomes $100k share for domestic violence survivors

FWCC co-ordinator Shamima Ali. Picture: FT FILE

THE $100,000 allocation for the Domestic Violence Support Fund (DVSF) by Government under the 2018-2019 National Budget has been welcomed by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC).

FWCC co-ordinator Shamima Ali said this was a good initiative because it would go some way in supporting domestic violence survivors in emergencies.

“But what FWCC would like to see is a more long-term solution in terms of cheaper alternative housing for domestic violence survivors. This will go a long way in getting them out of the cycle of domestic violence,” Ms Ali said.

Under the budget, the DVSF will serve as a temporary financial support system for unemployed victims pending the making of an order for urgent monetary relief under section 34 of the Domestic Violence Act.

It will provide allowan­ces to unemployed victims with no support system and have taken out a restraining order against the employed perpetrator or perpetrator who normally provided for the victim’s wellbeing.

Ms Ali said when women left a violent situation, they often had nowhere to go and had no access to money and these were the reasons why many women remained in violent situations and sometimes ended up losing their lives.

“Courts cases take a long time, so things like maintenance payments are held up,” she said.

“So in this way, a woman has help to support her children and also support her own basic needs like milk for babies, food and getting the children to schools.

She also added the $200,000 allocated by Government towards the Domestic Violence Helpline was another good initiative.

“This is the third year we are running this helpline. It was launched in 2016 and we are in contract with the Government to run the line and it is working well. This helpline is helping a lot of women and also to those in the outer and maritime islands,” she said.