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Fiji Time: 7:06 PM on Monday 21 April

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21st century challenge

Dawn Gibson
Tuesday, December 10, 2013

EVERY day one woman in Fiji is permanently disabled as a direct result of violence from her husband or partner, a report claims.

Additionally, 71 women lose consciousness each day and 43 women are also injured on a daily basis because of her husband or partner.

These alarming figures were some of the major findings of the country's latest national report on women launched by the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre (FWCC) yesterday morning.

The report, titled Somebody's Life, Everybody's Business, provided a detailed survey and analysis of physical, sexual and emotional violence shown towards women by intimate partners or husbands and also from non-intimate partners.

The survey sampled a key population of 3193 women and 3538 households in Fiji and has produced some alarming but important information.

"All of the prevalence figures we have are higher than the global average. Many of them are twice as high as the global average," explained the report author, Dr Juliet Hunt, who has spent a lot of time working with the FWCC on women's issues in Fiji and used this World Health Organization method to collate the data.

"For those women who are experiencing violence, it describes a situation of repeated attacks and it describes a situation of oppression and for me, that's torture."

The report described violence in Fiji as one of the biggest challenges the country faces in the 21st century.

"Men's violence against women is an enormous problem for Fiji with far-reaching and highly damaging impacts on individuals, families, communities and the whole nation.

"Entrenched social norms about mind-sets about women's roles and status need to be challenged and changed to prevent violence," the report read.

Disturbingly, what the report also highlighted was that in a number of cases, children witnessed the violent acts.