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Fiji Time: 11:02 PM on Thursday 24 April

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Padre urges families to re-examine life

Nanise Loanakadavu
Monday, February 04, 2013

FIJI is experiencing what many can say a moral decline that has affected the society people live in.

And it was about time that families reflect on their journey and re-examine their life to determine the root cause of sexual-related cases in Fiji.

Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma evangelising secretary Reverend Ili Vunisuwai, in his sermon to open the week-long gender-based violence workshop in Suva this week, said moral was part of people's spiritual life and no one could evade that.

He said the workshop could not have come at a better time because of the increased number of sexual offence cases reported every year in Fiji.

"When people evade moral in their lives we will lose our battle," he said.

Pacific Conference of Churches ecumenical animator for women Akanisi Tarabe, said gender-based violence was not just confined to women but it had been perpetrated by those in powers that affects men and women, the young and the old.

"We need to re-look at the way we are doing things and the way we work," she said.

"Any act of violence is the direct violation of God's justice," Ms Tarabe said.

The outspoken program co-ordinator also highlighted the case where a nine-month old baby was the youngest rape victim in Fiji saying that it was a symptom that there was a sickness in society that needed to be cured.

"Maybe the foundation that holds the society together no longer existed, where culture, values and faith could have been broken," she said.

Today participants at the workshop will re-examine the issues that perpetuated gender-based violence in the region at the Pacific Theological College.